Album Review

Pratt, Jessica – “Jessica Pratt” – [Birth]

Thurston Hunger   9/11/2014   A Library, CD

Almost wish I had scored the vinyl release, to help add to
the powerful anachronistic rush this album of soothing voice
and artful guitar invokes. This is not from 30 years past,
she’s not the pop singer sister of Patty Waters. She is a
SF gal and released this in 2012 after nurturing some
recordings for five or so years. Till they could walk? While
her voice plucks heart and harp strings resonating close to
various other artist large or new or gone or grey. it wouldn’t
surprise me if she’s steered clear of them all, and that this
album just sprang from her forehead while sitting under an oak
tree with her acoustic guitar near a White Fence. The songs
have a gentle immediacy which is superbly captured by microphone
and an old tape machine we hear lurch to life at times. There
are some simple overdubs, her voice + her voice = more. That
blanket, frayed and well-worn, that you’ll never throw out,
because it’s so assuring. I try to focus on her lyrics, which
spark my interest, but somehow by the end of the song I’m just
lost her pure and plaintiff world. Something about rivers,
streets and clementine, things moving by while we sit and
enjoy? This is not a “Hey” album it’s an “ooooh” album; I
honestly hope she releases a bunch more studio stuff before
pushing the tour circuit too heavily. Cocktail clinks,
audienced scattered chatter, and a sound guy doubling as a
bouncer seem like the wrong garden for this talent to live
and flourish. Maybe she can come down to KFJC and record
a set outside some afternoon?

-Thurston Hunger

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