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 offbeat indie pop songs, which in their own way linked her with so-called "New Weird Americans" like Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom, and Faun Fables. Waits 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 popular with Harcourt's listeners, so much so that record companies started paying her court. She signed with 3 Entertainment, an offshoot of Columbia Records, soon after the song hit the radio. Her debut full-length on that label, Kismet, was released in 2007, and produced by 3 Entertainment head Tony Berg. The Kismet Acoustic EP arrived in 2008, released by the independent Last Laugh imprint after Columbia shut down 3 Entertainment. Hoop next struck a deal with the venerable independent label Vanguard Records, and released 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 by Last Laugh in the summer of 2012, and co-produced with Tony Berg. Reworking prior songs, Undress followed in 2014, and in 2016, Hoop collaborated with Sam Beam (best known as the man behind Iron and Wine) on the album Love Letter for Fire. She swiftly followed that recording with her first solo record recorded outside of Tony Berg's Zeitgeist Studios, Memories Are Now, in 2017. ~ Margaret Reges, Rovi