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LAist Interview: Jesca Hoop

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It’s fitting that singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop got her big break via KCRW's morning show, because there’s no more fitting way to describe her music and her life than the word “eclectic.” From her early years performing in her family’s “station wagon choir,” to becoming a homesteader in Northern California and Wyoming, to working as a nanny for the children of Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, Hoop has used this diverse background to craft Kismet, her fresh debut album.

Hoop deftly navigates genres throughout the 11 tracks of Kismet, and the result is a cohesive sonic collection sprinkled with influences that run the gamut—Celtic, rock, jazz, pop, hip-hop, cabaret and more. LAist caught up with Hoop just prior to her recent Hotel Cafe gig to learn more about the album, touring and the best advice Tom Waits ever gave her.

In your lyrics you display a pretty broad vocabulary—some of which is kind of a throwback to an earlier age. What do you attribute that to?

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Some of that probably comes from theater—reading spoken word in old English. And I also like to approach writing the lyric as though I don’t speak English, so it’s based more on the sound of the word and joining words together that are phonetically pleasing.