If you have had a chance to check out singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop’s oddly beautiful 2010 release, Hunting My Dress, then you know what a unique talent she is. Hoop’s penchant for creating a wide variety of moods, sounds and storylines while keeping the music cohesive is an unusual feat of songwriting. And her 2012 release, The House that Jack Built, further demonstrates her significant skill in these areas as she culls together 10 songs that vary wildly in their sound yet remain distinctly Hoop tracks.
Hoop is as comfortable making energetic indie rock (“Born To”) as she is crafting down-tempo, acoustic numbers (“Pack Animal”), and she can throw in some lively garage rock as well (“When I’m Asleep”). And when it comes to her tales, anything goes. She can be sober one moment as on the reflective “D.N.R.,” or nostalgic for a time gone by on the emotionally-charged “Angel Mom.” But then she gets downright kooky on a track like “Whispering Light,” which features haunting vocals and sporadic, off-kilter yodeling and an overall feel that smacks of Oompa Loompas singing during a bad trip, which makes sense since, according to Hoop, the song was inspired by her getting baked with her ultra-religious Mormon mother.
Hoop could easily rub shoulders with other indie songstresses like Regina Spektor, Aimee Mann and Laura Marling, so catch her in an intimate setting while you can.
Jesca Hoop plays with Paul Quillen 8:30 pm Saturday, Aug. 10, at Axe and Fiddle; $8. — Brian Palmer