6. Jesca Hoop "Hunting My Dress" (Vanguard)



Several years' buzz (and a solid debut album a few years ago) are fulfilled with a set of ditties that are as eccentric and idiosyncratic as they are deep and attractive. Twists and turns abound in her writing -- both in the melodies and the lyrics -- and it's worth following every one into territories sentimental and sensual. She used to be known best for having been the nanny for Tom Waits' family. And she learned well from him, which isn't to say her music resembles his in the least. But like him, she sounds like nobody else. And it's working very well for her.