Ahead of the release of her much anticipated sophomore live long-player, Undress [3 February 2014], pop punk artiste Jesca Hoop [pictured] has been speaking about the album and her ambitions for the future.

Hoop's startling originality has already established her as one of the most interesting recent arrivals on the commercial music scene, and brought the young singer-songwriter [frankly merited] admiration from and collaborations with the likes of Tom Waits, Guy Garvey and Peter Gabriel.

Set for release in early 2014, Undress is the Manchester-based Californian's second release via Pledge Music, the direct to fan fundraising organisation, having already released The Complete Kismet Acoustic album earlier this year. That was a live acoustic rendering of Hoop's first long-player, Kismet.

On the back of these releases now comes Undress, the songs from her second record, Hunting My Dress, performed live with trusted allies in a stripped down fashion.

According to Hoop, "It is one thing to take a batch of new songs into a studio with time on your hands, instruments to high heaven, a producer as keen as the devil and panel of knobs and faders that could put a shine on any old piece of rust. It is another to take these songs to the stage and play them live.

"My approach to performing my songs live changes considerably once I have separated them from the studio process and set them free in the live realm. Limitation plays a key role in determining what can be done. It becomes ever more clear that the song is paramount. Before any bell or whistle there must be a great tune in place to capture the imagination."

Hoop is also clearly relishing the opportunity to use the release to elaborate the on the creative fabric of the originating studio album.

"It is my aim over the next few months to capture each song from Hunting My Dress in its most natural state - live - to bare and to tell these stories in a way you have not heard them before," she says. "Undress will strip back any adornment, shine a light on its very skin and put the heart of the work, the songs, to the test.

"What can we do with just this set of songs, this simple cast of instruments and our voices right here right now? Will the song stand?

"I am about to find out," she laughs.

Indeed. t:s

written by Mr Al Byrne