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Jessica Pratt transfixes with a stripped-back celebration of subtlety

09 November 2018, 10:08 | Written by Russell Warfield

It’s quite hard to imagine Jessica Pratt performing anywhere other than stony old churches and rustic rooms unstuck from time.

Her brand of freak-folk could comfortably nestle into a contemporary scene anywhere within the last hundred years. These are unhurried and introspective songs, commanding complete silence, as if an audience wasn’t even there.

Even three years on from the stunning On Your Own Love Again - one of 2015’s most criminally underrated records - it’s still a balm to hear the opening finger picked notes and eerie melody of ‘Wrong Hand’. Enveloped by hush, and with just the sparsest accompaniment on keys, Pratt unfurled a quietly confident and utterly transfixing set.

With a new record on the horizon, we were treated to a few new cuts, including the gorgeous ‘This Time Around’. As you might expect, the formula remains much the same, but stripped back even further. Staccato strums with acres of space around them, little atonal quirks, and some of her most achingly beautiful melodies yet.

Based on tonight’s set, Jessica Pratt looks set to make one of the earliest bids for album of 2019.

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