Jesca Hoop recorded a wonderful, beautiful and heartbreaking album, which will surely be considered not only as one of the best LP of 2017, but also her best yet.
At first, I thought of Memories Are Now as a specific combination of Julia Holter, Laura Veirs, Sharon Van Etten, with a pinch of Joanna Newsom. And it stole my heart instantaneously. An experimental opening song prepared me for something strangely beautiful. It intrigued. And the delight followed. It is The Lost Sky that both makes listeners’ hearts full of sorrow, breaking them in little pieces, and at the same time sets the tone for the rest of an album. Memories Are Now is a sad, intense, anxious album, full of longing, wonder, mystery and therapy by confession. In some way it’s similar to Bob Dylan’s Blood on Tracks, Sufjan Stevens’s Carrie & Lowell, or even Joni Mitchell’s Blue. But it’s different at the same time with its specific courageous openness to experiments, trance, mantra, or multi-layered production. At the same time it sounds intimate, which makes it even more expressive and straightforward as if there was no Jesca Hoop, but your voice and emotions, even though these stories weren’t yours. She is convincing, she is honest, she is candid, she is genuine. This makes A Memories Are Now an experience not innovative or ingenious, but explorative and full of empathy. Music and arrangements helps to fully fathom what Hoop wanted to convey. It’s full of angst, passion and powerfull messages, showing what’s the best in folk and contemporary americana. Insightfulness of Memories Are Now, it’s complexity, while maintaining feeling of intimacy, hearbreak, nostalgy, but also self-reliance, makes it one of the most compelling singer-songwriter album in a long time. It’s not a consoling, depressing, or inflammatory album. It’s just a beautiful music, which makes you feel.
Also worth a listen this week:
- Lupe Fiasco – DROGAS Light
- The Sadies – Northern Passages
- Thievery Corporation – The Temple of I & I
- Blackfield – Blackfield V
- Teen Daze – Themes of Dying Earth
- Tinariwen – Elwan
- Mother Mother – No Culture