Artist of the week: Jessica Pratt
Although often associated with the freak-folk movement (a late 90s proto-genre that fused avant-garde music with baroque pop and psychedelic folk best epitomized by Devendra Banhart), Jessica Pratt displays a lyrical and musical range that goes beyond the usual palette of finger-picked acoustic guitars and raw, bending vocals. In fact, she is much closer to the musical explorations of Joni Mitchell and Joana Newsom than the academic folk style of Joan Baez and her music often seems obsessed to come over any linguistic or sonic shortcomings in order to express abstract, elliptical and wordless emotions.
After releasing an eponymous album (2012) financed by Tim Presley (White Fence) and filled with haunting homespun melodies recorded on analog tape, she released earlier this year her sophomore effort On Your Own Love Again. The album is a major leap from her debut and showcases a charming simplicity and straightforwardness obfuscates the puzzle-piece precision of her poignant craft and melancholic delivery. Both a grower and a keeper in a year already filled with mesmerizing releases.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.