Jesca Hoop is back with a brand new album “Stonechild”.
A culmination of life and musical experience, uncompromising in its vision, “Stonechild”, the new studio album from Jesca Hoop is a self described “compassion project”. Released on July 5th by Memphis Industries, “Stonechild” is Hoop refined and defined. Beautiful, subtle and stark, her fifth album, the follow up to 2017’s highly acclaimed “Memories Are Now”, is her best yet.
Despite being a long term resident of Manchester, Hoop, has until now, returned to her native California to record. This time round however, “it was” according to Hoop “time to step out of my comfort zone, my safe place”, venturing south to Bristol to team up with producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, This is the Kit). Parish’s minimal and purist approach helped clarify Hoop in her ideas and subtly yet effectively realigning her sound. The simplified arrangements draw focus to the fundamental sophistication of the songs.
While Hoop’s trademark finger-plucked guitar and ethereal textures remain, the songs and their presentation are ever more direct. Parish “was a gentle collaborator until he killed one of my darlings” Hoop jests. “I’ve never been so brutally edited, and I wasn’t shy about expressing my discomfort at the sight of my work on the cutting room floor. He said, you will forgive me, and in some way I think I actually enjoyed that treatment…being stripped back to the bare basics…albeit painfully”. “Stonechild” ventures further into fresh territory with other voices joining the narrative, with Kate Stables (aka This is the Kit) Rozi Plain and Lucius singing the choruses and expanding the sensual depth of the sonic bloom.
On “Red White and Black”, Hoop chants down white supremacy. “Now the iron cloth that’s cut from the loom bares the black and white stripe of a cotton field rolling- And the dark mines and flame of redeemers put them right back in the iron cloth and the flag is waving”. As Hoop says “current politics is fucking disturbing. I write from personal perspective, about relationships mostly and I don’t find much music in politics, but as hate crimes increase, women’s rights are being rolled back, and the two nations I call home are building walls… well, the political has become deeply personal”.
“Red White And Black” is a one of a kind within the songs off “Stonechild”. It’s a bitter pill…an anecdotal antidote. We get to hear Lucius sing with me the chorus ! The video which was directed by my old friend and collaborator Elia Petridis and his company Filmatics was a true adventure to make…from conception to execution. I’m game” Hoop says.