Jesca Hoop is folk personified. Her upbringing, experiences and musical style are so beautifully idealistic that you can't help but be sucked in to her world and imagine where she has been and what she has done.

Let us start at the beginning.

Born to Mormon parents in Northern California her early musical experiences were performing traditional folk tunes in four-part harmony. It sounds and plays in your mind like the scene in the Cohen Brother's epic movie 'O Brother Where Art Thou' where George Clooney returns to his hometown to find his four daughters performing at the political ralley.

Breaking away from her childhood she became a homesteader around her area and also in Wyoming before then moving to the remote mountains of Arizona to work with a child rehabilitation program.

She next took up a position as nanny to the three children of legendary musician Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Here is where her real musical repertoire grew and under the mentorship of Waits she has developed in to the talented and mystical songwriter we listen to today.

Tom Waits Mentors Jesca

Waits once said in a rare miscellanious soundbite: “her music is like going swimming in a lake at night” and he is not wrong. Mysterious and at times magical it has a woodland theme, a kind of Shakespearian background. You can imagine the many mystical creatures of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' drifting throughout the foliage to the backdrop of Hoop's haunting lyrics and soft strumming on her guitar.

Her influences are vast and eclectic and range from Crosby, Stills and Nash to Kate Bush via Bjork, Joni Mitchell and Leanord Cohen which tells you how large her musical education has been.

This single features two tracks from her critically acclaimed album 'Hunting My Dress' and is set to hit the shelves on May 3rd.

'Whispering Light' plays as the title suggests. Soft narrative drifting over the top of her trusty guitar with the help of some equally haunting backing vocals echoing mournfully over the track.

'The Kingdom' is the other tune on offer and steps up the atmosphere. Hoop has been described as taking the stance of a “banshee-esque battle goddess whose call it is to deliver a spell bound death to those dying” and this summary is pretty accurate.

Louder and bolder, Hoop's lyrics are more penetrating and more punch-pulling. Beating percussion accompanies proceedings and hammers home the feeling or foreboding while the wailing of backing vocalists sends chilling shivers down your spine.

Her voice is magnificent and her lyrical nous and storytelling ability unquestionable as the music really hits home and forces you to stop what you are doing and listen to the tales being woven in your mind.

If you are looking for atmospheric folk which pulls you in to the music then look no further.

'Hunting My Dress' Set For November Release

'Hunting My Dress' is to be Hoop's second album and will see release in the US later this year while a UK date looks like the end of November. However these tracks will give her large fanbase a tantalising taste of what is to come.

While she may have received a helping hand up the musical chain from Waits it is undoubted that her talent is truly remarkable and she may have found the top of her talent range anyway, even if it took her a little longer.

Hoop herself acknowledges the help she has received on her MySpace page: “Although I am technically a soloist, I do come draped in musical friends, collaborators, mentors and champions all of which are part of the recipe that results in the music you here on this page,” she says.

“I have been very fortunate to forge bonds with many wonderful and talented people since I set foot on this path.”

A step back from the loud, abrasive and wholly manufactured chart scene right now Hoop reminds us of how intimate music can be and displays the power of one vocalist and their instrument in the way Seasick Steve et al have over recent years.

For more information on Hoop and to keep track on the release dates of her upcoming album visit her website which is currently under construction (as of April 26th 2010). Her MySpace page offers you the chance to sample her music and follow her in the time being.

Rating: 3/5