Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt is only 27 years old but returns on her second studio album, On Your Own Love Again , with an incredibly mature sound, reminiscent of an era long gone. Pratt’s music has a strong ’60s folk sound and with picked acoustic guitar and raw, bending vocals, this record delivers as an almost ethereal piece of work.
Superficially nothing more than a break-up record, delving behind the surface of the songs reveals themes more complicated than just that of the loss of a lover. Rather, the lyrics allude to the loss of loving as an instrinsic step towards loneliness. Her strikingly Kate Bush-esque voice—both haunting and somehow calming—is supported by a number of guitars and not much else. The result is akin to a series of reflective diary entries whimsically coming to life—totally private, and not for outside observations.
But here they are: Nine supremely well-crafted songs that bleed emotional insecurity. The almost amateurish instrumentals work in stark contrast to the intense state of confusion and loss she clearly feels.
“People’s faces blend together like a watercolour you can’t remember,” she opens with on “Games That I Play”—a statement that encompasses more than most of her musical peers would hope to accomplish in a lifetime. Standout track “Back, Baby” is a song that walks a fabulous line you didn’t know you wanted to hear between The Carpenters and Jenny Lewis. On album closer “On Your Own Love Again,” she tells her lover “you’re just on your own,” but with the knowing feeling that in fact, she’s the one alone.
Overall, the entire record remains true to its ’60s and ’70s aesthetic—it sounds old. And although it does begin to sound a lot like the “watercolour you can’t remember” that she references, it’s impossible to deny the old-world craftsmanship and songwriting that went into making this record, and for that, it’s brilliant.