This is Jessica Pratt's first recording in a professional studio environment after a series of home recorded releases but, as the title suggests, she still makes quiet music. In fact more so, as the home-fi film is removed to realise the clarity of her vision. This is an artist growing comfortable with her environment, and baring more of her soul along the way.
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She should change her name shouldn't she? Or should she? Should we learn to embrace the word prat and reclaim it? Certainly listening to this third album from the acclaimed songwriter, the sound is as far away from anything that you'd imagine being made by a prat.
Despite the press release mentioning higher production values, this is still a dark and intimate record. Pratt takes the atmospheric dusty folk of the likes of Tim Hardin, Nico and Nick Drake and places them in the sort of room where sunlight breaks through the curtains and lights of the dust in the air. 'As the World Turns' is the most gorgeous thing I've heard this year that contains a flute. A brilliant soft strummed thing that wanders hither and thither twisting around itself and coming in somewhere between the Clientele, Karen Dalton and Kate Bush.
You see, Pratt's voice is quite the unique thing. It's a register higher than you'd expect any adult to be - at times your initial impression is that the record is spinning a few revolutions too fast but you soon get used to it and entering her world is like going to a place where the ugliness of the world is held at bay in a cloud of marijuana smoke and a particularly comfortable set of cushions. A nylon strung guitar being plucked quietly in a corner, whispered voices across Laurel Canyon.
It's gorgeous. It's going to be my spring soundtrack.
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- Quiet Signs by Jessica Pratt
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