The second track, 'The Kingdom', is like a melancholy Irish folk waltz. Jesca's distinct, ethereal vocalizations bridge the gaps between the verses and chorus, and the percussive sounds serve as the glue between her vocals and the acoustic guitar. 'Four Dreams' showcases Jesca's ability to jump between registers with ease, the slight echo on her vocals subtly lingering on. The distortion on the guitar and jangling intro grab the attention of your ears immediately, and the perky, layered vocals somehow fit with the grunge rock feel. 'Murder of Birds' is perhaps my favorite track, a dark, pretty ballad featuring constantly entertwining and unraveling acoustic guitar melodies and counter melodies. Guy Garvey of Elbow lent his rich tenor to the song, his low, almost spoken vocals complimenting her upper register nicely. The music video (see below) is one of the few videos in recent memory that simply reflects and represents a song's beauty.
'Bed Across the Sea', a song about long-distance romance, is an upbeat folk jam that's impossible not to bob your head to. I love her witty, whispered lyrics, especially the opening line "L.A. is hot as fuck, and Manchester's about to freeze". Jesca Hoop is anything but vulgar, but she's not afraid to use bold words to express herself. With just one line, she lets us know exactly how she feels about the topic at hand. I find the chorus of this song especially poetic for the subject matter:
Words are all we have
for touch they are our fingers
and I love our words so much
And write your lips to kiss me now
and i can taste you as i read
your words out loud
Jesca Hoop is a rare hybrid of skilled vocalist and songwriter, and Hunting My Dress reflects the perfect fusion of her talents. If she continues brazenly forging her way into new musical territory, then there's no limit to where she could go. Her album is now available in both standard and deluxe editions on iTunes. Next month she'll be playing a few shows in Spain, for a full tour schedule click here.