Julia Holter, Jessica Pratt | Constellation | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.

Julia Holter, Jessica Pratt 

When: Fri., July 19, 11 p.m. 2013
Price: $15, $12 in advance
The self-titled 2012 debut by San Francisco singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt couldn’t be more unassuming. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, she recorded the music in 2007, after a friend of a friend offered her some studio time, without the clear intent to release anything—which helps explain why it took five years to become the first album on Birth Records, the label founded by Tim Presley of White Fence fame. The appealing smallness of her reedy, quivering voice recalls the eccentric timbre of Joanna Newsom, and her rustic, lived-in melodies sink deeper into your memory with each listen; aside from rolling guitar arpeggios, the sole adornment is the occasional overdubbed vocal harmony (on album closer “Dreams” she drops her pitch electronically, so that she sounds a bit like Fred Neil). The music brings to mind distinctive folk-influenced singers from the 60s and 70s such as Sibylle Baier and Karen Dalton, and Pratt herself calls Bert Jansch an influence, but it’d be silly to pigeonhole her as “freak folk,” or whatever people are calling that stuff now—her songwriting resonates because its melodic grace and lyrical intelligence isn’t confined to any one era or style. She can make music so magnetizing with so few tools that it’s startling. —Peter Margasak Julia Holter headlines.

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