Jesca HoopView In iTunes
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A sensual, esoteric singer/songwriter whose odd, sparse songs nod to influences like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Vashti Bunyan, Jesca Hoop got her big break thanks to her gig as a nanny for Tom Waits' offspring in the early 2000s. Hoop had grown up in a musically inclined Mormon family, but left the fold soon after her parents separated. She traveled around California, Wyoming, and Arizona writing songs and honing her craft before settling down with the Waits family for five years as their nanny. Waits took a liking to Hoop's off-beat indie pop songs -- songs that in their way linked her with so-called "New Weird Americans" like Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, and Faun Fables -- and he passed her demo (a version of the song "Seed of Wonder") along to Lionel Conway, who in turn handed it to KCRW's Nic Harcourt. The DJ took a liking to Hoop's demo and started giving "Seed of Wonder" some airplay; the song went on to become fairly popular with Harcourt's listeners, so much so that record companies started paying court to Hoop. She signed with 3 Entertainment soon after the song hit the radio, and her debut full-length on that label, Kismet, was released in 2007. The Kismet Acoustic EP arrived in 2008, followed by her sophomore full-length, Hunting My Dress, in the summer of 2010. The Snowglobe EP followed in 2011. Hoop's third album, House That Jack Built, was released in the summer of 2012, and co-produced with Tony Berg. ~ Margaret Reges