Title: Jessica Pratt
Record Label: Birth Records
There is always something quite charming about sparse arrangements and in the case of Jessica Pratt her self titled debut effort couldn’t be less cluttered. The San Francisco resident’s LP is wafer thin on instrumentation with a large majority of the album tracks consisting of just Pratt’s soothing vocals and gently finger plucked guitar patterns. The starlet’s voice has a Celtic lilt that drifts alongside the acoustic strums like a leaf caught on an updraft. The only time Pratt’s vocal deviates into other realms is on ‘Half Twain the Jesse’ where we find our velvet voiced singer dipping into a country twang.
‘Jessica Pratt’ is the kind of album to experience by candle light or in the hours where the sun is rising. There are recurring themes of darkness and night during the gestation of Pratt’s primary release, ‘Midnight Wheels’ is all murky shadows and dimly lit corridors while opener ‘Night Faces’ is the sound of the dead of night. ‘Casper’ continues the trend in spectral imagery with Pratt’s quivering voice interweaving with the delicate acoustic fretwork. To bring the album to a close the appropriately titled ‘Dreams’, caps off an LP entrenched in subtle duskiness.
There is a timeless sheen to ‘Jessica Pratt’ not unlike discovering a dusty old vinyl in the loft after years of being cocooned amongst disused toys and boxes of crap. The overwhelming lingering notion that this album could have been made fifty years ago is too hard to deny.
The LP’s nonchalant rhythms encourage the listener to slip into a trance as opposed to being fully immersed in its body of work. Even though the threadbare vibes are enchanting in their own way, the album offers very little in variation meaning a large proportion of ‘Jessica Pratt’ merges into one long brittle strum-along. This is the overall after taste with ‘Jessica Pratt’ after several spins its evident the album is the perfect document to help you switch off or unwind when you need that extra piece of head space.