Only today’s greatest musicians are able to convey absolute solitude — it’s there in Frank Ocean’s echoey soliloquies, and there in Grouper’s lonely hiss. Now it’s here again in Jessica Pratt’s Quiet Signs. Pratt’s third album is that rare thing, where the music is so preternatural that it’s almost impossible to understand how the musician got there. The songs are melodically and hypnotically simple, with each sound seeming to melt into one another in a cosy similitude, while Pratt sings entirely untethered. And that’s something that often goes unfortunately unremarked — Pratt’s phenomenal singing range. She glides into soprano and skids into a croaking bass effortlessly, re-enacting the sounds that we likely heard from inside our mother’s stomachs in utero. How anyone is able to convey that is near miraculous, but it’s what happens when you can tell that the musician has no audience inside of their head, only sound.
Photo by A. Dola Borani.
Live: EartH on March 26th