Jessica Pratt possesses a rare ability to slow down time. Her textured voice is among the strangest and most compelling in our contemporary music landscape and her songs are built on small observations that speak to bigger themes and resolutions that are just out of reach. Pratt’s lyrics are like free-associative bits of poetry, strung together by uncanny melodies that sound like something you’ve heard before but can’t quite place.
But Quiet Signs does make me think about what kind of companion a song, or an album, can be: cocooned in its world, I feel those unknowable, indescribable feelings that only places and things can give you. Pratt calls it Quiet Signs because of what space, sound and silence can indicate - and what they can't explain.
In the case of the latter, Los Angeles-based folk singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt’s vocals evoke the tenderness of Nico, contemplation and delivery of Nick Drake, and a high-pitched voice that sounds like she’s from a far-away land at times (not that it’s a problem holding the record, or any previous release down; it does know make her.
Quiet Signs' marks a significant departure for . singer Jessica Pratt, whose first two albums’ finger-plucked traditions were rooted in time and place. Quiet Signs’ is a record with such quiet power that you expect the world to fall silent as it plays. In one sense it is comprised of simple compositions, but each of its nine tracks is laser crafted to gently tease and pull at your control centre. Getting to know it is like becoming an addict and seeking therapy at the same time.
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Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs. Label: City Slang – Slang50190. Flute – Al Carlson (tracks: 3, 5). Guitar – Jessica Pratt (tracks: All tracks except 1). Management – Lee A. Cohen. Mastered By – Jeff Lipton. Organ – Al Carlson (tracks: 3, 9), Jessica Pratt (tracks: 3, 9). Piano – Al Carlson (tracks: 3 to 5, 7), Matthew McDermott (tracks: 1, 8), Will Canzoneri (tracks: 9). Producer, Written By, Vocals – Jessica Pratt.