Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #278 - Jesca Hoop, "The House That Jack Built"

Got her break childminding small members of Tom Waits' family, I understand. There are no obvious musical parallels for me to pull out with my ears.

"Put on your Peacemaker/And call on your God of War," she sings in a mini-choir. It steeples upwards with a minaret tilt and goes in all kinds of word directions - words with a sexual theme. This is "Peacemaker". "Have I gone to Heaven/Or to hospital?" she asks on "Hospital (Win Your Love)", a tune stuffed with quotable lyrics. I'm pretty sure the only hospital song to sound quite so poppy. "The Drugs Don't Work" it amn't.

I'm not so keen on the vocal gymnastics on the title track, but they are gone before too long before "Ode To Banksy" shimmies its way over. "You come invisible to paint the town," she taunts (I think) over a Revolver-era Beatles squawking guitar line. I'm reminded of the last MGMT record. By the sound of this song. Not by something else. "My stencil is dope/Just follow the rope." She comes at these songs from unusual angles - thematically burrowing into details on the edge of the hipsterverse. "Dig This Record" is aimed at crate-pulling vinyl junkies, at least superficially: not sure what she's actually singing about. It ends with train bells.

"DNR" is more acoustic, but still busy. As though trying to keep itself preoccupied and not dwelling on the subject matter; hospitals again and suicide. "A lonely heart was the black hole/That done him in" weaves into and out of the lovely, sweet finger-picking tune and harmonies. When she sings "I'm a big bird/I'm a hungry bird" on "Deeper Devastation" I believe her. Maybe I'm a little too gullible.

Rating: Quotable Tilt out of Hipsterverse Details

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