This week I’ve chosen to slow it down a bit, even though I have been spinning Beyonce’s bombastic Homecoming performance non stop since it’s release. If you’re not familiar with Jessica Pratt, it’s time to get on board! She is a direct descendant of singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Karen Dalton, Nick Drake and the like – artists that can accomplish a lot with very little, sitting alone in a room, embracing the empty space, even reveling in it. There is no wrong time of day to listen to it, so grab a glass, grab Kelly Fox’s Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc, and have a listen! Might need to play it twice since it’s only a cool 27 minutes long.
Quiet signs is a perfect name for this album. Jessica Pratt is an artist that has always embraced the quiet moments in her songs, and this, her third full length album, is quite possibly her most fully developed songwriting. It cuts quite a remarkable path for being 27 minutes long across 9 songs. There is a comforting authenticity to her vocal performance, even if she is exploring the light and darkness in each of us and the struggle between the two.
Plucking and gentle strumming, utilizing the almost forgotten elements of simplicity and quiet. You have to lean in, stop what you’re doing in order to properly hear it. Music made for headphones for maximum effect. In listening you almost forget what’s going on around you and enter a room with her, or a memory that you’re not quite sure is your own.
There’s a drifting sense of melancholy with a healthy dollop of hope and curiosity – imagine that first warm day of spring when the sun kisses your skin. You remember this feeling, you’ve longed for it. And before you know it, it’s gone again. It is in this cycle we find ourselves actively participating rather than passively listening to these songs.
For this I think of a wine that whispers more than shouts. I’ve chosen Kelly Fox’s Freedom Hill Pinot Blanc 2017. It’s cool, confident, and complete. Plenty of unique flavor from this single vineyard, one of Oregon’s finest, but not in any rush. It moves slowly across the palate and lingers. A fine wine to contemplate with this album.