Jesca Hoop - Undress

Jesca Hoop – Undress

I don’t usually listen to folk singer-songwriters. But when I do, I listen to Jesca Hoop.

In 2010 Jesca Hoop released “Hunting My Dress”. For her U.S. tour, in an opening slot for Eels, she performed as a solo acoustic act. With this year’s “Undress” she’s re-recorded all of the songs from “Hunting My dress” with the same stripped-down approach.

“Hunting My Dress” was my pick for the best album of 2010, so I enjoyed hearing the songs revisited years later. The track-order’s been rejigged and there are guest appearances abound. Notably, Guy Garvey reprises his guest role on “Murder of Birds”, Willy Mason takes a verse on “Whispering Light.” Hoop has a beautiful voice, a knack for storytelling and throws plenty of curveballs into her songs.

I can’t say for certain why Hoop decided to re-record her old albums (she gave “Kismet” the same treatment in 2012.) While “Undress” is a fine record, in my opinion it doesn’t supplant the original. Your preference will likely have a lot to do with your opinion of singer-songwriters.