Jesca Hoop’s “Born To”
Hoop’s a Californian who’s been recording for a little under a decade — which is weird, because whenever I put on “Born To,” I feel like it should be a great forgotten 1989 college-radio hit, played right between the R.E.M. and the Sinead O’Connor. (Mix rootsy drive, polished pop, mandolin, and keening, weirdly enunciated vocals … yes, it’s a little like “Losing My Religion” and “Mandinka” on a date.) It’s not a sound you hear often these days, which turns out to be the intriguing thing about Hoop’s latest album — nearly every song manages to drift into some subtly unexpected corner of pop.