7/10



Another aural feast (literally) from Jesca Hoop, queen of layered, darkly soaring folk anthems. As usual there's a fluctuation of loud and soft, soaring vocals, and dark and disturbing lyrics coupled with bassy chords that twang at the gut strings.



As with much of Jesca's work the overarching atmosphere subsumes any particular placement of the music within. The driven bass-line and quietly undulating guitar provide a base of creeping vines for her ecstatic flower-like vocals, allowing 'Feast of the Heart' to build swiftly to a passionate crescendo of emotion. But then, brutally, the moment drops away again. Lacking some of the gentler, subtler aspects of much of the rest of the album, it stands out. Partly as more pulsing, grinding and varied in its style, but also as more erratic.



The hook and chorus are beautiful and have you wishing fervently to be able to write soul-blasting words like that, but the constant shifting between whispered lyrics and high-pitched vocals seems discordant as opposed to providing balance and juxtaposition, in some ways interrupting the gorgeous musical arrangements in the background. I find the abrupt ending of the track jarring and it emphasises the brevity of the song, leaving a feeling of wanting more than has been given.



Presumably intentionally so, and thus a telling comment on the literal flow of her emotions, between incandescent joy and dark suppurating pain and loneliness. But as singles go the album is so simply powerful that almost any track could have been released, and so 'Feast of the Heart' seems to have been chosen mainly because it gets a bit louder than the majority of other tracks and thus would stick in people's heads a little bit more.