In stark contrast to the mountains of equipment towering over the stage is the petite singer/songwriter Jesca Hoop. With a single guitar and what appeared to be a single blue spotlight, the emotional tension in the room wasn't only palpable, it was visible on her face. Jesca Hoop is a musical chameleon - equal parts tormented soul, starry-eyed dreamer, emotive singer, nimble guitar player.



As the scant light at the Metro shone on her and she whisperingly whisked us away with her, it became abundantly clear that - like the lyrics in “Whispering Light” - her burdens are her brilliance. The transportive nature of her music can make even a song about the death of her mother beautiful - even if it involves her teaching her mother to smoke pot over the phone to ease the pain (true story).



She frequently gets the standard “sounds like …” comparison to Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Bjork, etc., etc. but as she intimates (still “Whispering Light”), her “passion that marks her [you] different”. She connected with an audience that was unfamiliar with her at such a deep level that they didn't even notice their beers were empty. “Down into a dream we go” through her poppy, organic, disjointed - yet somehow coherent - ephemeral “Four Dreams”. Does she have “demons when she need 'ems”? “Murder of Birds” makes that apparent, but that's just one part of her occasionally vulnerable charm.



The true beauty of the performance (not just the one on the stage emoting) is that you could spend an entire book dissecting lyrics, tonal changes, melodies, and evocation - on each individual song. Each song is a performance unto itself; frozen in time as part of a larger Shakespearean epic punctuated with emotion, tension, and beauty and ultimately orated by a voice that is the definition of larger than life.