2016 Artist Survey: Jesca Hoop
Hoop on the Election, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen, First Kisses, Self-Driving Cars, and Scary Movies
Jan 12, 2017
Issue # 59 - 15th Anniversary
Find It At: AMAZON
For Under the Radar's 14th annual Artist Survey we emailed some of our favorite artists a few questions relating to 2016. We asked them about their favorite albums of the year and their thoughts on various notable 2016 news stories involving either the music industry or world events, as well as some quirkier personal questions. Here are some answers from Jesca Hoop. In 2016 Hoop released Love Letter for Fire, a collaborative album with Iron and Wine's Sam Beam, via Sub Pop. Her new solo album, Memories Are Now, is due out February 10, also via Sub Pop
For our annual Artist Surveys we emailed the same set of questions to musicians about Trump and the election, 2016's deaths, self-driving cars, Stranger Things, first kisses, scary movies they shouldn't have seen as a child, which Friends character they are most like, and much more.
Pick up or download Under the Radar's Best of 2016 / 15th Anniversary Issue for Artist Survey interviews with Amber Arcades, Austra, Faris Badwan of Cat's Eyes and The Horrors, Boxed In, Caveman, The Charlatans, Cursive, Lucy Dacus, The Dears, C Duncan, Sadie Dupuis of Sad13 and Speedy Ortiz, Dutch Uncles, Ezra Furman, Robyn Hitchcock, The Invisible, Justin Lockey of Editors and Minor Victories, Lost Under Heaven (LUH), Lush, Midlake, Phantogram, The Range, Springtime Carnivore, Sunflower Bean, Surfer Blood, TEEN, The Thermals, Nick Valensi of CRX and The Strokes, Jenn Wasner of Flock of Dimes and Wye Oak, and Yuck.
Top 10 Albums of 2016
I couldn't tell you who released records this year, I've been in such a whirlwind of travel and projects at home. Been keeping my head proper down. Honestly haven't got a clue who's the who's who's who.
2016 was regarded by many as a fairly tough and negative year. Was it also a hard year for you personally? If so, how? And also what were the high points for you?
I would say 2016 was one of the more enjoyable years that I have experienced in a long while. It was filled with travel and music. I spent most of the year touring the Love Letter for Fire record with my friend Sam Beam. Those tours brought me all over the place and gave me a chance to reconnect with old friends and family along the tour path and also just to stretch out in this beautiful blue world of ours. My partner and I also made great progress in this house we've been restoring. Yes, this year has seen a whole lot of conflict with bad news left to right and center and the election drove or is driving us all mad. The frustration is unavoidable, all that aside, I am very grateful how 2016 carried me through it.
What are your thoughts on how the U.S. presidential election played out?
I'm deeply discouraged. My heart breaks to see the surfacing of such hatred, division, and desperation. I've lived in England for eight years now, and as I have been recently considering moving back home, I feel more and more discouragement. I don't know who my America is becoming. My only hope is that the displays of hatred in America right now help us identify the sickness and find a way forward to a greater union, love, compassion, and support for each other. I have a lot to say about this, but that is all I will disclose at this time.
What reality TV star would you have rather been elected president?
NeNe Leakes from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
We lost three highly influential music icons in 2016. What are your thoughts on the passing of David Bowie, Prince, and Leonard Cohen? And what are your favorite albums by each artist?
When Bowie Died, I felt like I had lost a dear friend. I cried for two weeks a very sweet, sad, and grateful melancholy. I had not experienced this feeling of loss for an artist before, and have not since. Though I do love both Leonard Cohen and Prince, the normal rational played in when they passed. I was sad to see them go, but we all have to go at some point. I gave thanks for them. The Man Who Sold the World, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, and Hunky Dory are my favorites from Bowie. "The Guests" from Recent Songs by Leonard Cohen is in my top 10 favorite songs of all time.
What do you think Prince and Bowie's afterlife project sounds like?
Truly out of this world. Ahead of its time. No doubt divine. Too sexy for us mere mortals!
Which Friends character are you most like?
None of them. I'm not a Friends fan. Never was.
What scary movie did you see way too young as a child, how'd you end up seeing it, and does it still scare you now?
The Exorcist. I saw it at a friend's house and was breaking the rules by watching it. It's still terribly disturbing (and I like disturbing) and I don't really want to see it ever again really.
Are you ready for self-driving cars and a more automated future?
Am I ready? I'm adaptable. I'm a human. We adapt. But I may never have a self-driving car. I would fall asleep. I'm not fond of robot culture really—don't want my packages delivered by drones or our wars to be won by them. I feel I was born out of sync with the now—should've been born back in the 1800s, before plastic.
Tell us about the most memorable fan encounter you had this year.
I particularly loved singing with Sam Beam in London at the Union Chapel during the Love Letter for Fire tour. Also hiking with my partner in the Canadian Rockies during the summer! Such beautiful blue rivers there and green lakes!
Tell us about your first kiss.
It was slimy and wet and given to me by a boy named Derek on a trampoline. He was super cute, but I wasn't impressed. I didn't go back for another one—not to him anyway. Sorry Derek.
Under the Radar has been around for 15 years now, since December 2001. How do you feel the music industry has most changed in that time, both for the better and the worst?
Well, I started making records in 2007. Most people I knew were trying to grasp what was happening, and there was a whole lot of discomfort and insecurity going around. It seems by now the climate is relaxing into its evolved state with social media driving the industry and streaming becoming a norm. My one discouragement is the saturation (I say one). There is so much to wade through to find the good stuff.
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