Jessica Pratt: Quiet Signs review – Soft, subtle and seductive tunes

Wed, Feb 6, 2019, 10:00

   
 

Album:
Quiet Signs

Artist:
Jessica Pratt

Label:
City Slang

Genre:
Singer / Songwriter

From the album title to the songs, Los Angeles singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt likes to keep matters away from the spotlight.

Much like her previous albums – 2012’s self-titled debut, 2015’s On Your Own Love Again – Pratt’s wonderfully hazy (and, at 26 minutes in length, compact) third outing is an exercise in calm and daydreaming, from whisper-soft vocals and barely thumbed acoustic guitar to aural slivers of flute and piano.

If Quiet Signs wasn’t so seductive a piece of work it would be in danger of being trashed by this week’s biggest noises. Pratt need not be concerned, however, as the nine tracks all too readily prove.

This Time Around has instant appeal courtesy of an impenetrable melody loop; Here My Love is a breathy, short-but-sweet jazz-tinged tune; the ever-so-slightly amped up Aeroplane is so vivid it could be a Velvet Underground song; the piano instrumental Opening Night acts as a pointer for what follows.

Throughout is a recreation of subtle lo-fi hiss that might ordinarily underwhelm discerning ears, but which in fact adds to the striking atmosphere.