Jesca Hoop – ‘Undress’

Jesca Hoop - 'Undress'


Jesca Hoop gets intimate on reworked versions of songs from 'Hunting My Dress'

Jesca Hoop’s ‘Hunting My Dress’ is not the most obvious candidate for a stripped-down remake: the 2009 album achieved cult fame at best and was hardly an overproduced mess. Yet here’s ‘Undress’, an album of “live and intimate” recordings of songs from Hoop’s second album. It’s no radical reinvention, sure, but the singer captures these songs in their most up-close-and-personal state, with instrumentation stripped back to nearly zero – a guitar here, a clap there – and Hoop’s rich voice like a whisper in your ear. Trusted allies, including Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam and Guy Garvey, help to breathe new life into the nine tracks; the Elbow singer features on a remake of the stand-out ‘Murder Of Birds’ sung with Hoop in the comfort of her Manchester living room, giving us a take whose outstanding gentle warmth outshines even the original. An obvious highlight of an album designed for long winter nights, red wine and headphones.

Ben Cardew


Record label: Last Laugh/Curuja
Release date: 24 Mar, 2014