On Your Own Love Again is Jessica Pratt’s second album following her 2012 debut. It offers dreamy, subtle, folk melodies punctuated by Pratt’s beautiful, childlike voice which almost has a Bob Dylan lilt to it. It beautifully chimes along with American folk from the 1960s. A charming record to get lost with on a Sunday morning.
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Jessica Pratt has bottled ‘60s folk and kept it for herself. In a contemporary landscape with more than a few good reenactors -- Julie Byrne, Kevin Morby and Joanna Newsom are a few to keep us going -- no artist captures her age-old kindred spirits (in this case: Joni Mitchell, Vashti Bunyan, and Nick Drake) quite as profoundly as Pratt. Her second record, ‘On Your Own Love Again’, continues to dreamily update that era of music into something stranger and more cosmic. With a voice that sounds completely unique, eluding any comparison that holds up to scrutiny, and a guitar played so delicately it sounds like she’s gently folding it into squares, Pratt’s music is a kind of mysterious tranquility: folk records should sound easy and seamless, but hers also sounds alien.
There’s not a sizeable distance cast between ‘On Your Own Love Again’ and Pratt’s self-titled debut, but this record has modest touch-ups: the picking sounds even slighter, like Pratt is barely brushing against the guitar, and she also mines a couple of songs from slightly different angles. Chords are struck with resilience on “Jacquelyn in the Background”, presented with a forcefulness never before heard in Pratt’s work. She also seems to allow this record’s imperfections to be: “I’ve Got a Feeling” features a couple of off notes that work to shade the dark, ominous clouds that gather overtop.
“Back, Baby” is a rare thing for Pratt’s oeuvre: it’s a stand out track. Her grieved vocal and slight chords are conjoined with a riff that trails down the road in earnest -- her voice eventually traces the notes, as if she’s re-working footsteps. Though Pratt’s work is often best used as folk ambience, something that sooths from a distance, “Back, Baby” is proof of a brilliant songwriter to go with that expert of atmosphere. She may sound like the folk days of old, but it’s also true that no one sounds like Jessica Pratt.
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