Release Date: Jan 27, 2015
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Folk, Pop/Rock
Erase the chatter quotient involved with the subtle, fragile presence through which an artist like Jessica Pratt channels her work. The cross-noise, the fluttering, the hiss and the pomp serve the larger picture of Pratt’s story as a terminally unknown singer/songwriter from Northern California whose notoriety came only after her initial batch of home-recorded songs were some five or six years old, and she’d played only a handful of shows. All that interference, however, ought to be ignored, if even briefly, when listening to Pratt’s second full-length record?and first for Drag City?On Your Own Love Again.
Californian critical darling Jessica Pratt came to attention after White Fence's Tim Presley fell so in love with her four-track recordings that he started a record label (Birth) just to put her 2012 self-titled debut out. Pratt has a striking, original and womanly voice, which she accompanies with classically finger-picked guitar — it's easy to see what Presley fell in love with. The timeless ballads on her debut drew comparisons to early '70s greats like Vashti Bunyan and Karen Dalton.On Your Own Love Again finds Pratt branching out (sometimes into Judee Sill territory, but more contemporary and psychedelic), expanding her sonic palette and often hinting at a symphony, even if it's made of origami and nested in a teacup.
California singer/songwriter Jessica Pratt's self-titled 2012 debut was so beautifully insular that getting lost inside its soft-spoken songs almost felt like listening in on a shy but talented housemate practicing in the next room. Her voice had the same sun-weathered rasp as Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, or any of the strange dreamers of the late-'60s Laurel Canyon scene, but the songs took on a far more distantly dreamy character, sounding beautiful but just out of reach in the same muted manner as Sibylle Baier's mysterious 1973 psych-folk masterpiece Colour Green. With her 2015 follow-up On Your Own Love Again, Pratt does little to change the hermetic alchemy she began on her debut, offering up only the subtlest developments to her already mesmerizing style.
Jessica Pratt is only 27 years old, but still her music carries the footnote that it was ever-so-close to being lost in time forever. As modern rock tales ought to go, it was one of the San Francisco garage scene's leading local weirdos, Tim Presley, who saved her from relative obscurity. Though Pratt was born in Redding, Calif., her poised, homespun folk songs feel beamed from another time and place, specifically hippie-era Britain; as a teenager, Pratt says, she honed her craft by playing along with T.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt’s gentle, homespun songs sound so natural and effortless that it almost seems as if she’s composing them spontaneously. However, her 2012 debut album sat on the shelf for years and this outstanding follow-up has been the product of two years of home recordings in LA and San Francisco. Perhaps working quietly away from bustle has helped the 27-year old craft folksy songs that – tape hiss and all – are magically out of time.
Even after hearing On Your Own Love Again a few times, you might still struggle to hum much of it around the house. It’s not that it’s minimalist, noisy, or otherwise inaccessible. It’s made up of tuneful, simple folk pieces, with recognisable song structures. But Jessica Pratt’s own imagery sums it up best: these are songs which 'blend together, like watercolours you can’t remember'.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. When Jessica Pratt emerged with her self-titled debut album a couple of years ago you could easily believe that someone had uncovered a lost artist from an earlier musical era. The black and white picture of her face on the cover was closely cropped and looked like it had been copied a few times, and the music within was equally hard to date, as it was simply consisted of a delicate yet distinctive female voice accompanied only by guitar.
Regression might be something of a pejorative term, but it’s a good word to describe the time between Jessica Pratt’s 2012 self-titled debut album and the release of this new record, On Your Own Love Again. Retreating from the studio(s) where she recorded in 2007 the songs that would make up Jessica Pratt five years down the line, San Franciscan Pratt recorded album number two at home and by herself, effectively stepping backwards to move forwards in terms of making a definitive artistic statement; On Your Own Again is the sound of a singer and song writer completely at “home” in all the senses of that word. The names that floated around Pratt’s music the first time around are present and correct again: Karen Dalton, Vashti Bunyan and Sibylle Baier are influences writ large, but on that first collection of songs the influences nearly outweighed Pratt’s own voice.
If a single word could best describe the new release from Jessica Pratt, the first one she’s conceived as a proper album from songwriting to recording, it’s “familiarity. ” And not the kind of familiarity that is rehash, simply the re-creation of tricks that have worked in the past, but the kind of familiarity where a stray bit of melody or the Pratt-on-Pratt harmonies or an out-of-context lyric strikes you as something you’ve heard before. Some of these you can place, like an unintentional nod to Duran Duran on “Strange Melody” or a lyric from “Moon Dude” echoing something by Aaron Lewis you heard on alternative radio growing up.
The small-scale success of Jessica Pratt’s self-titled debut album surprised no-one more than Jessica Pratt herself. It was written unselfconsciously, a project Pratt seemingly never took seriously until White Fence’s Tim Presley heard her homespun 8-track recordings and released them as-is five years later. The tape fuzz and mis-struck notes were all part of what made it so beguiling, its freedom from expectations.
There is a lot of great art that has been made in exile. From Victor Hugo to Pablo Neruda all the way up to the Rolling Stones, there are a litany of writers, visual artists, and musicians who have used the various circumstances of their respective separations from the norm to step back and attempt to reach the essence of inspiration and creativity. Living a solitary and isolated existence is surely a mentally taxing endeavor, but the tranquility (or freedom to delve into excess, as in the Stones’ case) can produce wonderful and exciting results that nearly always reflect the ideas and mindsets envisioned by its’ creators.
There’s an unhurried, timeless quality to this second album from the California singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt. Recorded at home, her songs are deceptively simple affairs, her soft voice backed for the most part just by acoustic guitar, with other instruments occasionally drifting in and out of focus. The sophisticated songwriting nods to Joni Mitchell and Sibylle Baier, but an appealing playfulness is evident too: witness the way Pratt unexpectedly drops her voice into a lower register on Greycedes.
The singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt recorded her second album On Your Own Love Again at home and unassisted on her 4-track, and it shows: the album sounds very much like the hermetic creation of a lonely individual. Pratt’s mostly-acoustic accompaniment is sparse, her lyrics private and turned inward. On Your Own Love Again also sounds old. Pratt’s songs are bracketed by tape hiss purposefully left untrimmed.
Jessica Pratt's songs almost seem to bend time to her will. The West Coast folk singer-guitarist doesn't need much more than her delicately played nylon-string guitar and mezzo-soprano voice to give her second album an uncanny impact. Pratt's jazz-steeped singing and rich guitar harmonies can recall early Joni Mitchell, or a nimble, less overbearing twist on the psychedelic folk of 21st-century artists like Joanna Newsom.
Jessica Pratt — On Your Own Love Again (Drag City)Jessica Pratt’s second album is not fundamentally different from her first, at least in its broad outlines, but it is nonetheless a huge step forward. Like the debut, it juxtaposes Pratt’s deft finger-picking with breathy, eccentric vocal phrasings. It keeps distractions to a minimum and leaves plenty of space around the words for dreamy consideration.
When confronted with a record like Jessica Pratt's On Your Own Love Again, the first thing I think of is, unfortunately, Dave Grohl. Specifically, his 2012 Grammy speech, in which he rock-splained, "The human element of making music is what's most important. Singing into a microphone and learning to play an instrument … It's not about being perfect.
opinion byMATTHEW MALONE Jessica Pratt’s 2012 debut was quite possibly the crudest diamond the rough has ever seen. Not only were the 11 tracks recorded with the most lo-fi, raspy equipment out of the 20th century, but the album also failed to effectively catch the ear of too many passersby, and it ended up sitting on a dusty shelf, shimmering with beauty and waiting patiently for a chance to unravel. Hopefully, with the inevitable recognition of On Your Own Love Again, Pratt’s sharper follow-up, people will take a step back to hear where this ghost of the 1960s began to crystallize.
Singer/songwriter Jessica Pratt's second album was born of a move from San Francisco to Los Angeles following the loss of her mother and a long-time relationship, and its starkness and minor tonality give it a hushed, contemplative feel. Pratt, who made her debut in 2012 after Tim Presley (White Fence) founded Birth Records to release her work, has distilled her acoustic-guitar-and-voice approach down to its very essence, recording solo to four-track. That lo-fi method showcases her delicate fingerpicking and soft vocals, but also makes for a somewhat monotonous listen over nine similar tracks.