Much has been made of Jesca Hoop's unusual upbringing. Raised by Mormons in Northern California, she later worked as a nanny for Tom Waits, who has since championed her work. He once described her music as “swimming in a lake at night.”

You could add to that, swimming while wearing hip waders. Hoop's songs are not easy pop ditties. They demand attention, and they deserve it.

On Hoop's third album, the songs are highly literate, finely crafted into fragile little structures supporting her sweetly idiosyncratic vocals. All together, it sounds like the soundtrack to a Lewis Carroll novel.

The opening “Whispering Light” begins with a sort of mountain music chant and then settles into a whispery tale about choosing your time to die, with Hoop affecting a British accent. “The lightning bolts will guide you home,” she sings.

Other songs are more folky, in a Joni Mitchell way, “Murder of Birds” with harmonies from Elbow's Guy Garvey, and the title cut. Hoop's huge vocal range is best on display in the gritty and muted, “Four Dreams.”