It’s one of the curiosities of Manchester-based Jesca Hoop’s career that she usually records Stateside. Not this time.
Perhaps sensing that Memories Are Now (2017) risked becoming a dead end for the way it refined what had gone before, Stonechild – named rather spookily after an unborn foetus carried by a woman for more than 30 years and now on display in Philadelphia’s Mütter Museum – saw her heading to Bristol, to work with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding).
The result is an album where Hoop’s quirkiness quotient is toned down. Instead, her gift for melody is allowed space to breathe on songs that meld pop and neu-folk in a way that recalls the latter-day work of Bon Iver. A transitional record and less immediate than Memories, but studded with moments of rare beauty.