Jessica Pratt (musician)


Jessica Pratt
Jessica Pratt, SF, 2014 1.jpg
Jessica Pratt in 2014
Background information
Born (1987-04-24) April 24, 1987 (age 34)
OriginSan Francisco, California, United States
  • Singer-songwriter
  • musician
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2007–present

Jessica Pratt (born 24 April 1987) is an American musician and singer-songwriter, based in Los Angeles, California. Her self-titled debut album was released in 2011 via Birth Records, a record label founded by Darker My Love and White Fence songwriter Tim Presley to release Pratt's music. She is often associated with the freak folk movement.[1][2][3]

Early life

Pratt was raised by her mother, who exposed her to a broad range of artists, including Tim Buckley, X, and the Gun Club. She learned to play the guitar around the age of 15, after her older brother gave up playing his Stratocaster. She took his guitar and started practising with the T. Rex album, Electric Warrior. She was soon able to play the guitar parts of the whole record.[4] She eventually began recording songs at the age of 16, using her mother's Fender guitar amp and microphone.[1]

Musical career

After she moved to San Francisco, she was introduced to Tim Presley's solo project, White Fence, through Presley's brother, who was her roommate for three years.[5] In the following years, Presley heard Pratt's demo songs through her then-boyfriend, who had posted her songs on Facebook. He eventually contacted her to release her music.[6]

Pratt's self-titled debut album was released in 2012 through Presley's label, Birth Records. Produced by Craig Gotsill, the album featured the songs that were originally recorded in 2007 over analogue tape.[5] The initial 500 pressings of the album sold out in less than two weeks.[4] It received attention from many music websites and magazines, including Pitchfork (website),[2] Consequence of Sound[3] and PopMatters.[7]

In January 2014, she revealed the studio version of a new track, "Game That I Play."[8]

In October 2014, Pratt announced her sophomore album, On Your Own Love Again.[9]

In October 2018, she announced her third album, Quiet Signs, and released a video for a new track, "This Time Around." Pitchfork reviewed the song, giving it the Best New Music designation and noting a stylistic shift, comparing it to "a Tropicalia version of a Christmas song, or a ’60s jukebox standard playing in a beach town diner during the off-season." The album was released in February 2019 on the Brooklyn independent label Mexican Summer. It was the first one recorded in a proper studio which provided a crystalline sound. The Pitchfork review states the album "warps the typically direct, observational role of a singer-songwriter into something altogether more mystifying".[10]

Musical style

According to Philip Cosores of Consequence of Sound, Pratt's music "displays a lyrical and musical range without straying from a palette of picked acoustic guitar and raw, bending vocals" and nods to "60s folk, California classic rock, and the early 2000s freak folk."[3] She is compared to various folk artists, including Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Sibylle Baier, David Crosby and Karen Dalton.[4][7][11] She also expressed admiration for Ariel Pink.[12]

Pratt dislikes the Joan Baez comparisons, and is hesitant about being classified strictly as "folk" or "freak-folk."[1][4] In an interview with Impose magazine, she stated on the freak folk comparisons:

I think anybody has an opposition to being pigeonholed into semi-trendy music genres. I definitely love a lot of those artists. There have been comparisons to people like Joan Baez [who] plays very straight-forward folk music, almost academic folk music. I've written so much new material that I'm almost ready for a next record. I guess it's just my fear of sounding one-dimensional, or being classified as strictly a folk artist.[1]


Studio albums


  1. ^ a b c d Lefebvre, Sam (December 10, 2012). "Jessica Pratt interview". Impose Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Zoladz, Lindsay (November 20, 2012). "Jessica Pratt – Jessica Pratt". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Cosores, Phillip (November 27, 2012). "Album Review: Jessica Pratt – Jessica Pratt". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Bravo, Amber (November 20, 2012). "Interview: Jessica Pratt". The Fader. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Pickard, Joshua (December 20, 2012), Interview: Jessica Pratt, Beats Per Minute
  6. ^ "An interview with Jessica Pratt". No Wave magazine. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Leight, Elias (July 16, 2013). "Jessica Pratt: Jessica Pratt". PopMatters. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  8. ^ Breihan, Tom (January 14, 2014). "Jessica Pratt – "Game That I Play"". Stereogum. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  9. ^ Minsker, Evan (October 21, 2014). "Jessica Pratt – "On Your Own Love Again"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  10. ^ "The Los Angeles folk musician's third album is her best yet". 2019-02-08. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  11. ^ Reed, James (July 12, 2013). "Six years after its recording, Jessica Pratt's debut makes waves". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  12. ^ Minsker, Evan (March 14, 2013). "Jessica Pratt". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
  13. ^ "Dig The First Sounds From Jessica Pratt's Forthcoming Album". Drag City. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014.

External links