With the release of her second album Hunting My Dress in the U.K. last fall, the brilliant, intrepid songstress Jesca Hoop became yet another talented American artist to find a more welcoming musical home outside of the U.S. Fortunately -- finally -- American ears can finally experience Hoop's acclaimed Dress July 27 via Vanguard. As a follow up to her provocative 2007 debut album Kismet, Hoop says her new songs offer "a more clarified distillation of what I do as an artist", a flurried mix of artful folk/pop, theatrical cabaret elements and songs that seem, at times, turned inside out and upside down. "In a voice that ranges from gentle, crystalline charm to edgy intensity, she's in turn playful, bluesy, haunting, and folky. What prevents this all from becoming a mish-mash of textures if Hoop's single minded passion, which lends a self assured cohesion to her diversity," says Uncut in a **** review.

Working with producer/guitarist Tony Berg and a troupe of talented players, Hoop has created miniature vocal sonicscapes of startling originality, building songs that flit and dart, build and then break down again all against a backdrop of stark guitar runs, boldly progressive time measures and a tiny grab bag of head-turning production surprises. “My aim was to produce as much energy and force with as little sonic information as possible," observes Hoop. "Less is more was our motto." And in one of the best lines of the year adds, "Anything is worth trying and nothing is too precious to mute." Highly recommended. For what we've described as a "brilliantly off-kilter jumble of bold art held askew", check out "The Kingdom" video after the jump.