BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Granted, Jesca Hoop can be an acquired taste. That said, it takes little time for her atmospheric ambiance and percolating rhythms to grab hold and prove irresistibly addictive. Her melodies generally take second place to their treatments and arrangements, creating an overall effect that provides more than mere instant gratification. Hoop’s new album, the rather aptly titled Memories Are Now, is no exception, and while it offers several plucky tunes — the banjo-driven “Animal Kingdom Chaotic,” the easy glide of “Cut Connefction” and the loping “Simon Says” among them, it’s the subtle shadings that shroud songs like “Memories Are Now” and “The Lost Sky” that dominates the proceedings overall. Those hypnotic tones are difficult to ignore, and in the end — check out the chanting in “Songs of Old” and the Kate Bush-like bounce of “Unsaid” for ample evidence — there’s a spectral sensibility and otherworldly essence that coaxes the listener to lean in, resonating well after. Hoop’s experimental tack often requires repeated listens, but it’s creativity and not mere quirkiness that ultimately leaves alingering afterglow. Hoop’s collaboration with Sam Beam, 2016’s Love Letter for Fire found both artists swerving towards the center, creating an effort that hinted at easier accessibility, but suffice it to say she’s leaning away from that here. Nevertheless, having created such an indelible impression, she remains all but impossible to ignore.
DOWNLOAD: “Unsaid,” “Simon Says,” “Animal Kingdom Chaotic”