Jessica Pratt at Electric Picnic: a fine frisson of freak-folk
Review: the Californian singer brings a balmy West Coast vibe to Body & Soul
Jessica Pratt playing the Body & Soul main stage at Electric Picnic 2019. Photograph: Dave Meehan
JESSICA PRATT ★★★
Body & Soul main stage
The sun shines, the breeze wafts, laughter ripples, and US singer and songwriter Jessica Pratt is making sure the afternoon vibe in this corner of the Electric Picnic landscape sticks securely to the program. Away from the currently subdued circle of Hades that is the main arena area, Body & Soul continues its quality schedule with a performer that at least four people around me have never heard of. By the close of the short set, word on the grassy knoll is that whenever Pratt returns to Ireland at least four new converts will go to see her.
It isn’t difficult to see why. From San Francisco, she has had been writing songs since she was a teenager; more than years later, Pratt has effortlessly developed into a considered singer-songwriter that adds to her balmy West Coast sensibility a frisson of freak-folk.
It is perfectly in line with the afternoon that’s in it, yet the festival atmosphere is such that – much like the breeze – audience attention too-easily drifts. No fault of Pratt’s, of course, but you sense a more contained, attentive crowd would have worked much better for her. Really good, nonetheless.