JP Hoe | catchy, melodic, engaging

Few things present one to the world like one’s name.  It represents you when you’re not around, it marks your place in the phone book or on the concert poster, and, despite what we might want to think, it leaves an impression of who we are.

JP Hoe has a quick, no-nonsense working name, with elements of down-to-earth and star quality mixed together.

Music – their music – is the next thing that presents a musical artist to the world. And JP Hoe’s music jumps right out at you. Quickly and easily accessible, it doesn’t demand deep pondering and multiple listens to become familiar: I clicked on the link that Michael sent me, and right off the bat I found myself thinking, “Hey, this guy is good”. Then I read further in Michael’s descriptive paragraph and saw his take on JP: “He is really good”.

You’ve got to check JP’s music out for yourself; there’s no way I’ll be able to do it justice with words. Catchy, melodic, engaging; some of the terms we’ve used for years serve very well to describe the tunes of JP Hoe.

JP Hoe will be in Kelowna at Streaming Café on May 26, fresh from stops in Victoria and Vancouver on the two preceding nights, and hot on the heals of the release of his new album Mannequin in Winnipeg on May 10.

According to his website, JP started playing guitar in high school because he figured it was the best way for a shy kid to meet girls.

It musta done the trick, because he opened for Jann Arden on her 2007 Canadian tour. And she’s a girl. JP also sold 2,500 copies of his EP, The Live Beta Project, through that show-opening gig. Some indie artists struggle to ever sell that many copies of any one particular album, so it certainly seems like Hoe struck a chord with the Arden audiences.

When JP built on the success of that EP and released his debut full-length project The Dear John Letters, the Western Canadian Music awards applauded his efforts in 2008 with nominations in the top pop recordings and top songwriting categories.

Besides the catchiness and accessibility of his music, JP’s sense of humour comes through, too, in things like the title of his annual Christmas show (The JP Hoe Hoe Hoe Holiday Show) and in comments like this one on his website’s ‘news’ section: “…the record is done. It’s called Mannequin, and as you can tell from the album cover, even my pecs are bursting with excitement” (this said because the album cover shows his shirt stretched across his chest right at the pec level). JP Hoe obviously enjoys what he does, and he seems pretty relaxed in the skin of who he is. And his website is one of the cleanest (and actually up-to-date) sites I’ve seen for someone who does music for a living as an indie artist.

JP reportedly spent the first half of 2011 recording Mannequin, and it’s only this spring that the album is finding release. It’ll be interesting to watch/read reaction to the project, looking back at all the positive reviews Hoe received for his first EPs and album:

-“His blend of melodies and lyrics make for solid and intelligent pop music.” (chartattack)

-“When he burst onto the scene in 2003 with his debut EP, The Here In Review, JP Hoe fast became a critical darling; and his 2007 live album The Live Beta Project only bolstered his next-big-thing status.” (Uptown)

-“…JP Hoe’s original pop songs are like musical heroin; once you get a taste of that sweet, sweet smack, you’ll be itching to come back for more.” (stylus magazine)

So visit his website, or follow these links to some of his videos; I’m pretty sure you’ll agree that this is music worth listening to. We can offer you something even better: catch JP Hoe live in concert at Streaming Café on May 26 at 7pm Pacific – either in person at 596 Leon Ave, or online at streamingcafe.net; either way you’ll be able to see and hear JP live, and you’ll be able to ask him questions directly, one-on-one.

Check out the guy with the short name and the great music. Live on May 26.


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