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Jesca Hoop has packed a lot of living into her 35 years on the planet. She’s broken her parents’ hearts by rejecting Mormonism, worked as a farmer and as a surveyor, counseled problem children in a wilderness survival program, worked as a nanny for Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, and suffered horrible hallucinations that her friends were evil clowns. She’s been a bit of a nomad, having lived all over the western United States before settling down in current home of Manchester, England.
But perhaps my favorite bit of trivia from Hoop’s past is the fact that she spent an unspecified amount of time living in a chicken coop. This demonstrates a commitment to living life on one’s own terms that goes way beyond that of most people who fancy themselves to be rugged individualists.
“Born To,” a track from Hoop’s new album, The House That Jack Built, addresses her first step in taking that level of control over her own life, the questioning of how central the environment that someone is born into is to the rest of their lives. Why is someone born into the circumstances they are born into, and what happens if they decide that those circumstances are not where they want to stay?
Hoop grapples with this question in what is perhaps the most urgent song of her career to date. “Born To” lunges forward with feverish momentum, underlining the importance of the topic to her life. She was born into a religion she decided to turn away from and into a family that ultimately disintegrated. Her decision to leave the life she was born into behind might not have seemed like such a great idea when she was living in a chicken coop, but when she came out the other end of the process she was living the life she chose to live.
Click here to listen to The House That Jack Built on Spotify.