Jessica Pratt: Here in the Pitch (Mexican Summer) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, July 12th, 2024  

Jessica Pratt

Here in the Pitch

Mexican Summer

May 02, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Jessica Pratt knows how to keep people waiting. It’s been five long years since the release of Quiet Signs, a record that found her working in the studio for the first time and elevated her quietly mesmerizing songs to a new level of expertise and public awareness. The gestation period for her new album, Here in the Pitch, was close to three years, half a lifetime for some artists. But Pratt’s slow period of discovery has paid off richly; Here in the Pitch is another leap forward that sees her pushing into new realms with stunning effect.

Armed with the confidence of her studio experience on Quiet Signs, Pratt sets out to capture a brighter palette here—“big, panoramic sounds that make you think of the ocean and California.” And while she cites none other than Pet Sounds as her guiding light for this process, Pratt is attuned to the sonic mystique of those recordings as much as the album’s obvious pleasures—a quality she refers to as “atmospheric silence.” Indeed, the warm, organic echo and baroque instrumentation heard on stately opener “Life Is” or the gentle sweep of “World on a String” recalls not only The Beach Boys’ iconic records but the eerie grandeur of Scott Walker’s early solo work, a bygone time of studio recording that seems locked in amber.

To capture such a transportive mood requires considerable sleight of hand, but Pratt and her accomplices—multi-instrumentalist Al Carlson and keyboardist Matt McDermott (joined here by bassist Spencer Zahn and percussionist Mauro Refosco)—pull this trick off masterfully with splashes of timpani, baritone saxophone, and glockenspiel so precisely deployed it sounds like there are acres of space between instruments. And while the album title refers to both “pitch darkness” and the sticky blackness of bitumen, there is a subtle arc of light running through the record, what Pratt calls a “weird optimism.” It’s here that she’s found a new path, a space to create something that seems to exist beyond time. (www.jessicapratt.net)

Author rating: 9/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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