Jessica Pratt: Mixing the Eras

Jessica Pratt's Quiet Signs is now on Qobuz

Door Marc Zisman | Video van de dag | 19 februari 2019

Picture this: after a rehearsal, a theatre actress witnesses one of her hysterical fans get hit by a car. The incident greatly distresses the actress. This scene was performed by Gena Rowlands in John CassavetesOpening Night in 1977. Jessica Pratt was moved by the film, to the extent that the first track from her album Quiet Signs is entitled Opening Night... And even though it was released in 2019, this third album from the American singer could easily have come out in 1977. Being timeless is not within everyone's reach, but as Pratt blurs the boundaries between eras, it becomes clear that she doesn’t belong to any space-time continuum. Even her strange yet moving voice is completely different from anything else. It’s a bit like the voice of a little girl confessing to Santa Claus… Or maybe it’s more like a fairy? Or an old woman wandering around a ghost town? All three at once perhaps. In any case, the thirty-something-year-old Californian creates chamber folk soundscapes which are colored by a simple flute, an acoustic guitar, a vintage organ, a few strings and a piano. The forgotten Linda Perhacs often comes to mind, as well as Vashti Bunyan, Sibylle Baier, Karen Dalton and even Joanna Newsom. In short, all these folk singers from the sixties and seventies had incredible voices. The magic of Quiet Signs is very much real.


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