Jessica Pratt - Quiet Signs
Feb 8, 2019
83
I am pretty enamored with this album and think it is a natural and great step forward for Jessica Pratt. It is funny to think of this album as a significant departure from her style. Pratt's stripped-down and fuzzy songwriting has always evoked an empty bar on a Tuesday night. Her music invites daydreaming; it's surreal lyrics as strange as Pratt's distinct voice. While not for every mood, there is a familiar and relaxed attitude about her music that I find comforting.

Quiet Signs doesn't change the recipe but includes some welcomed new elements that I think benefit her sound. Pratt adds new instrumentation into the mix. I particularly enjoy the piano that opens the album; it gives me just a little 90s Hayao Miyazaki vibes. There is a herd of flutes that can be heard in the background at times; I like them a lot too. While her lyrics are still dreamy, the melodies feel more confident. I was quite spellbound during the second half of the album. The production feels gently larger and brighter; I feel like this expands the space on the record and lets the music breathe more. The moments of silence on this album feel palpable and just as important as the music.

The album as a whole is almost too cohesive, but there is a simplicity in the monotony. The slight variations feel subtle but can be felt throughout. Quiet Signs is a beautiful and solid record, one that shows how an artist can grow and develop while staying entirely true to herself.
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