New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Jessica Pratt

Posted by Amoebite, February 11, 2019 06:35pm | Post a Comment

Jessica Pratt - What's In My Bag?

Amoeba Hollywood was excited to have singer/songwriter, and Amoeba alum, Jessica Pratt in the store recently for a cool and educational What's In My Bag? interview. The Los Angeles based artist had lots of insightful things to say about all the records and books she found while digging through the bins, especially when it came to a perennial favorite, Marianne Faithfull's Rich Kid Blues. Explaining that the English singer was homeless and in the midst of a terrible heroin addiction when the album was recorded, Pratt told us, "you can tell listening to it that her voice is rather shaky, and she doesn't really have full control, but at the same time she's playing with these studio musicians and they're like really tight, so it's kind of a nice contrast." Pratt also appreciated some the song choices, which included a couple of Bob Dylan tunes. "Dylan songs are really hard to cover...I think there's a lot of pretty repulsive Dylan covers out there, but she really nails it." Pratt's cool picks and cool commentary made for a particularly cool video.

Pratt learned to play the guitar at age fifteen, teaching herself by playing along to T. Rex's Electric Jessica Pratt - Quiet SignsWarrior album. As a teen, she recorded her own music using her mother's Fender guitar amp and a microphone. After moving to San Francisco as an adult, Pratt befriended Tim Presley of White Fence who became a fan of her lo-fi psych/folk compositions and released her self-titled 2012 LP through his Birth Records label. The initial limited edition pressing (500 copies) sold out in two weeks and received glowing reviews from Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound.

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Pretty Good Year: Kelly's Best of 2015 picks...

Posted by Kells, January 9, 2016 04:49pm | Post a Comment
It seems like 2015 came to a close less than a little more than a week ago...wait, didn't it? Where does the time go? It came and went in another trip around the sun, with the seasons fully cycled and another twelve-month accumulation of art, music, and enjoyment to show for the passage. Listed below are the leaders of the pack where the year in my ears is, er, was concerned. These the repeat-listen flat plastic friends stuck with me thru thick and thin. Oh, and there's a book thrown in the mix as well! Did you dig any of these selections?

Jessica Pratt
- On your Own Love Again
(Drag City)

There's always one or three endlessly flip-able records that never quite stay filed away, maintaining rather an easy reach in the rotation pile nearby the home hi-fi. Jessica Pratt's sophomore offering On Your Own Love Again is one such record. Built in part of nearly inaudible ambient street sounds indicating a subtle genesis rooted in home-recordings, the layered, spacial delivery of Pratt's soft-plucked folk edged in opaque psychedelia eddies and billows in a cosmos of mellow zones, at times reaching near-exotic levels of effect, but ever retaining a familiar quality. Here and there accompanying lyrics seem to reveal something of the singer-songwriter's personal inspirations, but these revelations are islands in a stream of vocal stylings, lilting like tendrils through a tapestry of rhythmic strums, droning, hums, and filigree. A muted monument of home-spun, dyed-in-the-wool California by way of the Milky Way sound, Jessica Pratt may be compared to many a laudable singer-songwriter forebear, but she is most definitely in a league of her own.

- A Self-Taught, Decathlon Hard Rock Musician (Stoned Circle)

Sounding like what I imagine to be Ariel Pink's ideal funeral shuffle, there is no limit to the number of times I can listen to Leland Yoshitsu's "I've Got Some Happiness"—it's a nodding rock hallucination comfortably lodged in it's own should'a would'a could'a laze, but so striking and real. Originally appearing on his ultra-rare 1976 self-funded, self-titled debut album, as well as on the equally rare 1978 reissue of said debut titled This is My World, this life-lending track and many other unequivocal druggy rippers, are now freely repeatable on this remastered expanded re-reissue what also includes the raw and unbridled Live At Mabuhay Gardens, S.F.circa 1979. Extensive liner notes and bonus photos of this psychedelic superhero abound! Not a 100% new release, but the title alone gives it a free pass re: best of 2015.

Mondo Drag - Mondo Drag
(Riding Easy Records)

If you're a high fantasy rock band, this is the kind of album cover that will most likely rivet the record shop RPG set with enough curiosity to guarantee at least a cursory listen. Of course, you'd better have the "No Quarter" meets "Highway Star" chops to back artwork like this up. Not only does Mondo Drag deliver on this their 2nd release, they've also already cut a killer debut and a third gunning to drop in February. This self-titled dank nugg is chock full of heavy desert mysticism, stratospheric psych appeal, gypsy crystal visions, pounding progressive allusions, pillars of riffage, smokey fluted corridors echoing pinwheeled guitarmonies, and a jingle-jangle bag of percussive holding. It could be a bit more demonic, but I like it just the way it is; otherworldly and titanic.

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my top 50 albums of 2015...

Posted by Brad Schelden, December 18, 2015 05:15pm | Post a Comment

#1 Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle (6131 Records)
These are truly the kind of albums that I live for every year. They just seem to come out of nowhere. I knew after listening to the first song that I was going to love this album. She is sort of like a young Chan Marshall of Cat Power. A beautiful and haunting voice that I just can't resist. An album I want to listen to again as soon as it ends. I have always been a fan of anything Mark Kozelek and Bill Callahan. All things dark and introspective. And she will fit nicely on your shelf next to those artists. I never find music like this depressing. There were a lot of great albums out this year but it was sort of hard to come up with my favorite of the year. But as soon as I finished this album for the first time I knew that I had found it. A perfect album.

#2 Tamaryn - Cranekiss (Mexican Summer)
This is the third album by Tamaryn but my favorite by them so far. And it is really rare to make an album this good on your third try. A perfect album for fans of anything dream pop or shoegaze. Tamaryn often sounds to me like 90s shoegaze greats like Cocteau Twins, Cranes or Curve. I have spent a lot of time with this album this year. The perfect album for long drives home from work. I can never get enough of this genre and am so happy that bands keep putting out albums like this.

#3 Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love Again (Drag City)
I am so happy that Jessica Pratt found her way to Drag City. This is just the perfect place for her. This album was one of my favorites from the first part of this year. I listened to it almost every day for a couple of months. It is really an album that feels like it is from another era. It just completely takes me over when I listen to it. I sort of feel like I am watching some British 60s folk art film when listening to this album. She has a amazing and unique voice. Super talented lady. I am so impressed by this album.

#4 Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon (True Panther Sounds)
I really got obsessed with 70s soft rock a couple of years ago. I couldn't stop listening to Jim Croce, ELO, 10cc, Harry Nilsson and Al Stewart. Then along came Tobias Jesso Jr. who seriously sounds like all those dudes. This is another album that I fell in love with before the album had even finished. It will transport you right back to the 70s. I was too young to really remember the 70s. But I have listened to enough music from the era to know this is what it felt like musically at least. I have no problem with all the artists these days obsessed with the 80s and 90s. But it is nice to find someone actually going back a bit further and doing something different.

#5 Grimes - Art Angels (4AD)
This is the fourth album by Grimes. But really the second album for most of us. I still have not had a chance to listen to her first two albums since they were reissued. But this is a bit of a departure from her last album Visions. It is still very much Grimes. But more pop and accessible. Sort of her take on 90s pop music. Imagine if Britney Spears or Kylie Minogue were Canadian and a bit weirder. Grimes is the first of many Canadians on my list this year. That video for "Flesh Without Blood" is seriously one of my favorites of the year. However Kill V. Maim is my favorites song on the album. This is one of the funnest albums of the year. But you should probably avoid it if you like your music less fun.

#6 Ryan Adams - 1989 (Blue Note)
I really did not expect to love this album as much as I do. I never listened to the Taylor Swift album that this is a cover version of. However Taylor Swift is unavoidable and I somehow knew most of the songs already. But Ryan Adams strips down the sugary sweetness of Taylor Swift and makes 1989 something totally different. I have always been a big fan of Ryan Adams. But he is seriously the best when he is doing covers. I still think his cover of "Down In A Hole" by Alice In Chains is one of the best covers ever. Every time I listen to this album I love it even more. And it has not really made me want to go listen to Taylor Swift. But it certainly has made me realize she writes a really good pop song. I am hoping this trend continues and PJ Harvey covers the Miley Cyrus album Bangerz next year. It could be amazing.

#7 Small Black - Best Blues (Jagjaguwar)
This album is for fans of dreamy and synth pop from bands like Washed Out or Wild Nothing. While everyone else was listening to Tame Impala I was getting more and more obsessed with this Small Black album. It is a brilliant little album that will probably fall under most peoples radar. But it is addictive. If you get addicted to things like dream pop. Like a drugged out more dreamy New Order or Human League. Or like a New Wave version of The Verve. 

#8 Nite Fields - Depersonalisation (Felte)
This is another album that I spent a lot of time with in the beginning of this year. The album is super dark and dreamy. This band is sort of Australia's 2015 version of Joy Division. They are a mix of post punk and electronic jangly dream pop. The album cover is super goth but they don't exactly sound like that album cover might make you think. They are more Chameleons than Chris & Cosey. But fall somewhere in between. 

#9 SOAK - Before We Forgot How To Dream (Rough Trade)
Any of these album in my top ten this year could have easily been in my #1 spot. It just really depends what mood you found me in or what month of the year it was. This album falls into the Julien Baker category of modern dark folk. Her voice is another one of those fantastic haunting voices that gets me every time. Hard to believe this album came out of an Irish teenager. An excellent and haunting debut album. Can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

#10 Max Richter - from Sleep (Deutsche Grammophone)
I have been a long time fan of Max Richter since Blue Notebooks came out in 2004. So I am always excited to hear whatever he puts out. Sleep is an 8 hour album he released this year that is meant to lull you off to sleep. I actually have not tried that yet. But definitely plan on it. from Sleep is a shortened 60 minute version of Sleep. The album is fantastic and haunting classical music. Track 2 "Path 5" on this album is the one that I keep going back to. One of the most beautiful and haunting songs that I have ever heard.

#11 The Weeknd - Beauty Behind The Madness (Republic)
Please don't judge The Weeknd for appearing on the Fifty Shades Of Grey soundtrack. The Weeknd has given us another great R&B album this year. I totally fell hard for his last album and am probably now a fan for life. There was a point in the 80s and 90s when I was a really big fan of R&B. But in my opinion there are just not any more great R&B albums that come out these days. But every once in a while we get artists like Frank Ocean and Abel Tesfaye. He is sort of like the Canadian R. Kelly. "Often" could easily be a 90s R. Kelly song. But with a more modern futuristic sound.

#12 Beach House - Depression Cherry (Sub Pop)
I am always happy to have a new Beach House album in my life. But this year Beach House gave us two new albums in one year. Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars are both great additions to the dreamy Beach House Catalog. But I honestly had not even spent enough time with Depression Cherry when the second album came out. This one might be my favorite but that could all change once I spend more time with Thank Your Lucky Stars. I saw them perform these songs live recently and it really made me fall in love with these albums even more.

#13 Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell (Ashtmatic Kitty)
I am still waiting patiently for Sufjan to continue his albums about each state series. But I am starting to realize it will probably never happen. But part of me is really keeping hope alive that he is secretly working on them and will someday release a 50 CD box set. But for now we thankfully have the beautiful Carrie & Lowell. Every time I listen to Sufjan it takes me back to the first time I heard him. I am truly in love with that voice of his. And I always love his lyrics. He was also fantastic like always performing these songs live earlier this year.

#14 Pure Bathing Culture - Pray For Rain (Partisan Records)
Some bands only have one good album in them. And I honestly expected this band to be one of those bands. I really loved their album Moon Tides from a couple of years ago. But this new album is just as good. This bands is clearly Portland's version of Cocteau Twins. But a more modern pop version of Cocteau Twins. It is hard to combine fun pop music with dreamy shoegaze. But Pure Bathing Culture has somehow figured out how to. This is one of those albums I love escaping into. 

#15 Jamie xx - In Colour (XL)
I really loved that first xx album like most of us did. But I was a bit disappointed by their second album. Which was probably just because that first album was so good. So I didn't really expect to be loving this album. It for sure goes places that an xx album would never take you. And the songs I love the most feature the vocalist from the xx. But the album is super fun and dancey. A sort of 90s house music version of the xx.

#16 Braids - Deep In The Iris (Arbutus)
This really is the year of Canada for me. I am thinking I might just need to get up and move there. This album felt so familiar when I first put it on. It is like visiting an old friend and then remembering how much you love them. This album sits somewhere between dream pop and electronic twee. This is the bands third album but this is the one that finally made me a super fan.

#17 Colleen - Captain Of None (Thrill Jockey)
I was a big fan of Thrill Jockey back in the late 90s. Trans Am, Tortoise & The Sea & Cake were all among my favorites. This label still manages to surprise me and put out an album like this every once in a while. This album is somewhere between electronica and classical. It reminds of the background music of an older Bjork album. Her vocals are like little whispers and breathing intertwined with the music. A nice album to escape into.

#18 Roman a Clef - Abandonware (Infinite Best)
I really do love this album. It is like some long lost Sarah Records band. They at times sound like Belle & Sebastian mixed with the Human League. Or The Style Council mixed with Momus. This is such a fun quirky album. It puts a big smile on my face every time I listen to it.

#19 Joanna Newsom - Divers (Drag City)
The world is always a better place with a new Joanna Newsom album. I had resisted the genius of Joanna Newsom for many year. But she turned me into a fan when Have One On Me came out in 2010. I went to see her play live for that tour and loved her even more. You really either get her or you don't. Her voice is certainly not for everyone. But I can't get enough of her now. I love this album cover too.

#20 Kurt Vile - b'lieve i'm goin down... (Matador)
Kurt Vile is another artist that I look forward to whenever he has something new. I love everything that he does. His voice is seriously like catnip to me. It is smooth and twangy at the same time. I don't really understand how you can't love this dude. He is like the Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen of indie rock.

#21 Miguel - Wildheart (RCA)
It is hard to take that album cover seriously. I sort of love it and think it is ridiculous all at the same time. This album is not your typical R&B album. He travels through genres. I really can't get enough of these songs. Especially "Coffee" and "Waves." This album is super sexy and fun. I really wish more R&B albums still sounded like this. We really need more artists like Miguel in the world.

#22 Chvrches - Every Open Eye (Glassnote)
This is the second album by this Scottish electronic synthpop band. I was really obsessed with their first album. And this second album gives us more of the same. They know how to write a good and addictive pop song. They really are like the new wave bands of the 80s or the teen pop bands of the 90s. The songs get under your skin. They either annoy you or you fall for their sound.

#23 Active Child - Mercy (Vagrant)
Active Child put out a great album back in 2011 called You Are All I See. I actually forgot how much I liked it until I revisited it this year. This is another band I am happy to have back in my life. Pat Grossi reminds me of Boy George and Antony & The Johnsons. Or those new wave bands that mixed soul and new wave like Jimmy Somervile and Bronski Beat. He really has an amazing voice. And like his first album there are a couple of songs that stand out way above the rest. "Never Far Away' is that song that you will want to keep listening to over and over again.

#24 Georgia - Georgia (Domino)
This album is sort of all over the place. But it reminds me of those 90s bands that mixed hip hop and R&B with house music and electronica. Imagine Neneh Cherry singing with Deep Forest or Massive Attack. "Nothing Solutions" is for sure the stand out track on this album. I love albums like this. You don't really know what you are listening to as you journey through this album for the first time. It feels like the future while feeling like a 90s trip hop or dance record all at the same time.

#25 HEALTH - Death Magic (Loma Vista)
HEALTH had a really great song a couple of years ago in the Max Payne video game. So I have been patiently waiting for this album since then. This band always sounds like what you would think the future was supposed to sound like. The future as seen in movies like Blade Runner or The Terminator. They make super dark electronic music. But their songs always have a catchy beauty underneath all of that.

#26 Pictureplane - Technomancer (Anticon)
This is the third album by Travis Egedy and it has been 4 years since his last album. I loved his first two records so much so I was preparing myself to not really like this album. I didn't think he could do it again. But he managed to create another fun album. He somehow mashes up Freestyle and 90s R&B with 90s rave and electronica and makes it sound new and cool. Some of the songs sound like early Moby mixed Snap! and The KLF. I love this dude.

#27 Purity Ring - Another Eternity (4AD)
Yes this is yet another Canadian electronic pop band with elements of new wave and synth pop. But I know what I like and bands like this give me just what I need in my pop music. This is their second album. And I was of course a big fan of their first album. And they managed to put out another album of great hooky pop songs.  Her vocals really remind me of 90s bands like Frente! and The Cardigans.

#28 Camera ShyCamera Shy (Run For Cover)
I need bands like this to give me my supplement of twee while bands like Camera Obscura are not around anymore. I was a big fan of The Softies and all things Rose Melberg. So I am always excited to find a new band that sounds like them. This band feature two members from the shoegaze band Whirr which I am also a fan of.  But they really sound nothing like that band. But they are everything I love about 90s twee. The songs are sweet and adorable indie pop.

#29 Ben Browning - Turns (Yelllow Fear)
Ben Browning is the dude from Cut Copy. So this pretty much sounds like a Cut Copy album. If you like Cut Copy then you will like this album. Another fun album of pop dance music. This album would fit right next to your soft rock new wave albums by Howard Jones, Icehouse & Modern Talking. And there is nothing wrong with that.

#30 jennylee - Right On! (Rough Trade)
Everyone is going solo this year. You may recognize jennylee from Los Angeles band Warpaint. You may also recognize her as the sister of Shannyn Sossamon who was also in Warpaint. This album for sure has elements of new wave and goth like you would expect from somebody in Warpaint. Imagine a combination of a band like Slant 6 mixed with some Xmal Deutschland. I can always get behind some dark and dreamy female vocals.

#31 U.S. Girls - Half Free (4AD)
I dare you to watch the U.S. Girls video for "Window Shades" and not fall in love with Meghan Remy. I rarely actually watch music videos anymore. But I was so pleasantly surprised when I found this one. This album is super addictive and I was clearly caught underneath her spell. The vocals are from another era. Meghan Remy is U.S. Girls and she is of course based in Toronto. Since Canada is where everything I like these days comes from. Imagine if artsy goth music existed back in the glamorous days of Hollywood. I could see her hanging out with Joan Crawford or Jean Harlow. But most certainly Louise Brooks!

#32 Empress Of - Me (Terrible Records)
I am not sure why an artist like Bjork can't put out an album like this. But it is always great to find a new artist putting out an album like this. This is another album of catchy electronic pop. But it is so much more. Lorely Rodriguez has an amazing voice. She crosses some genres while mixing up some R&B style vocals with songs you would find on a Julia Holter or Holly Herndon album. "How Do You Do It" is her irresistible song on the album.

#33 Car Seat Headrest - Teens Of Style (Matador)
Not the best named band of the year. But I sure do love this record. They sound as if The Strokes put out an album of Beach Boys covers. FIDLAR mixed up with Pavement and Jay Reatard. You can really only sound like this if you are in your 20s. But its fun to revisit that feeling of being so young. These guys are great and I look forward to what they come up with next.

#34 Keep Shelly In Athens - Now I'm Ready (Friends Of Friends)
I was highly anticipating this new album since I loved their album from a couple of years ago. Keep Shelly In Athens is one of the best band names. And yes they are from Greece. And yes they are dream pop. You could probably figure it out from the album cover. I could seriously listen to these guys all day long. I am in my car a lot in LA so I listen to a lot of music in my car. And this is another great album to drive home to. This is not sleep dreamy dream pop. This is electro dream pop. It will keep you up.

#35 Soley - Ask The Deep (Morr Music)
I am always hoping I will find another Icelandic musician to get obsessed with. And I was happy to find something on Morr Music I liked so much. I loved this label many years ago but honestly have not been paying much attention to what they have been putting out lately. This album is beautiful and haunting.

#36 Deerhunter - Fading Frontier (4AD)
I usually end up liking everything Bradford Cox and Deerhunter put out. But I sort of take them for granted. I have not really spent the time with this record that it deserves. The last couple of Deerhunter records are always so comforting to me for some reason. They make me feel good but I can never quite explain it. There is always something a bit weird about these records. But they are also so pretty and catchy.

#37 Title Fight - Hyperview (ANTI-)
I always have to find something a bit Emo to listen to every year. I miss the days of The Get Up Kids and Sunny Day Real Estate. I seriously had a period in my life where I listened to Sunny Day Realy Estate almost every day. And I usually like my Emo with a bit more darkness and shoegaze. So this new album is perfect for me. Putting on this record feels like putting on one of your old favorite albums.

#38 Cheatahs - Mythologies (Wichita)
There was really no way that I was not going to love this record. It was made for people just like me.  It sounds like early 90s great days of shoegaze. This could be a long lost record by Chapterhouse, Swervedriver or Pale Saints. It really is that good. And it only gets better the more that I listen to it.

#39 EZTV - Calling Out (Captured Tracks)
This is my jangly power pop album pick of the year. This album is seriously dreamy. Like the boy or girl you had a crush on in high school. This is another album that I spent a lot of time with this year. It could easily be higher on my list. It probably should be. But there were just too many good albums this year.

#40 Ceremony - The L-Shaped Man (Matador)
I am sure that the punk fans of this bands earlier albums may not all be in love with their current post-punk Joy Division sound. But I could not be happier. The songs all sound urgent. Like they are actually living in late 70s and early 80s days of Joy Division and A Certain Ratio.

#41 Steve Hauschildt - Where All Is Fed (Kranky)
Steve Hauschildt is part of the group Emeralds. I really liked that last Emeralds record. So was curious about this album. This album is a more new age version of Emeralds. More ambient and background music. But such a great record. This is also one of those records I can just put on repeat and listen to over and over again all day. Sort of like a mellower Blade Runner soundtrack. A really beautiful album. I just want to get lost inside this record whenever I put it on.

#42 Mark McGuireBeyond Belief (Dead Oceans)
Mark McGuire is also a former member of Emeralds. And he is also fantastic.This album is a perfect companion piece to the Steve Hauschildt album. This album would absolutely be considered new age if it had been releases in the 70s or 80s. However this album is a bit louder and darker than you might expect. It at times turns into a prog rock jam session. But there is nothing wrong with that.

#43 Sarah Bethe Nelson - Fast-Moving Clouds (Burger)
Burger Records has been putting out some great albums the last couple of years. I was super happy to come across this one. This album is straight up Juliana Hatfield as if she was on Saddle Creek Records. Like Juliana Hatfield "So-Called Angels" on My So-Called Life. And sometimes I need a little Juliana Hatfield in my life.

#44 Nic Hessler - Soft Connections (Captured Tracks)
I actually only have two albums released by Captured Tracks on my list this year. And Nic Hessler is one of them. He had formerly recorded as Catwalk. I love this record. I have serious love for this record. It is the janglier side of Captured Tracks. A very catchy album that deserves much repeated listening.

#45 Helen - The Original Faces (Kranky)
Helen is the shoegazey project of Liz Harris of Grouper. This album took a while to really grow on me. It subtly sneaks up on you. It is dreamy distorted pop. Not an album for everyone but like all things she does it is worth the effort you put into it.

#46 Heathered Pearls - Body Complex (Ghostly International)
This album reminds me of an Aphex Twin album. It is an ambient album that you can dance to. It is like a John Carpenter soundtrack made for a dance party. This album is addictive and always puts me in a sort of trance.

#47 Express Rising - Fixed Rope (Numero Group)
I am still not absolutely convinced that this is a new album. Numero Group is usually a reissue label so when I first listened to this record I figured it was some long long new age record. Maybe a long lost Angelo Badalamenti score. This album is basically a new age ambient jam session. But I love every minute of it. It soothes the soul.

#48 Low - Ones & Sixes (Sub Pop)
I could not forget about my old friends Low. I often revisit their old albums. There is just nobody quite like them. They always take me back to my early years in San Francisco back in the late 90s. I have to say this this band can still put out an excellent album. I love me some slowcore and they are the masters. Another hauntingly fantastic album from Low.

#49 Jaakko Eino Kalevi - Jaakko Eino Kalevi (Weird World)
Jaakko combines elements of R&B, folk and synth to create this album. His song "Deeper Shadows" is like Sade meets New Order. A great little album from this dude from Finland. It gets weird and experimental at times. But this album just great.

#50 Beach Slang - The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (Polyvinyl)
It is always nice to find a band that can bring you back to the way you once felt. And I really do love the name of this album. This album could be a serious contender for 90s alt rock album of the year. Full of punk rock anthems. This album could also be an old Cursive or Los Campesinos! record. This album is better than most of the bands that try to have this same sound. A great record in a really great year of music.


Album Picks: Jessica Pratt, Twerps, Natalie Prass

Posted by Billy Gil, January 27, 2015 10:56am | Post a Comment

Jessica Pratt On Your Own Love Again

Jessica Pratt’s voice is something special, a breathy, elfin coo that calls to mind Marc Bolan’s spirited yelp as well as Vashti Bunyan’s inward-facing whispers, channeled through Pratt’s own wry, observational tone. “I see you standing wasted alone in my mind,” she sings directly on opener “Wrong Hand,” but such a line doesn’t feel bitter coming from Pratt’s mouth, as if it’s a gentle warning rather than a harsh truth. “People’s faces blend together like a watercolor you can’t remember in time,” she sings with precision at the outset of “Game That I Play.” Her guitar playing feels nimble yet immediate, leaving in missed notes in the one-take-sounding, stark and lo-fi “Strange Melody,” while her intriguing fingerings and tunings seem to draw inspiration from Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake, though the way she contorts her voice from a floating, teetering high register to a disconcerting low feels entirely unique. The songs themselves are allowed to meander, though never indulgently; rather, On Your Own Love Again feels exceptionally well edited, its serpentine arrangements remaining relatively coiled. “Game That I Play” manages to sneak in a stunning second movement while keeping the song trim at just over four minutes. And she doesn’t overstay her welcome. At just more than half an hour, Pratt ends her second album leaving you wanting more, turning over her curious phrases and mystical voice to uncover their secrets, especially on one of the album’s final and best songs, “Back, Baby”—its pensive breakup lyrics like “your love is just a myth I devised” sting softly amid loping, seaside acoustic guitar. On Your Own Love Again is gorgeous through and through, and it’s easily one of the best albums of this early new year.

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Weekly Roundup: Sonny & the Sunsets, Jessica Pratt, Tobias Jesso Jr., Colleen Green, L.A. Witch, Susan

Posted by Billy Gil, November 21, 2014 10:11am | Post a Comment

Sonny & the Sunsets – “Cheap Extensions” video

Sonny & the Sunsets have a new album on the way, and they already have an awesome, animated new video for the track “Cheap Extensions.” Follow the tail of a girl and her mysterious extensions over the Sunsets’ hypnotic groove. Talent Night at the Ashram was mostly recorded by Smith at home on his tape machine with the help of friends like Shayde Sartin (The Fresh & Onlys), Garret Goddard (King Tuff), Kelley Stoltz, Rusty Miller and Ian McBrayer. It’s due Feb. 17 on Polyvinyl. Read my interview with Sonny Smith back when they released their terrific last album, Antenna to the Afterworld.


Jessica Pratt – “Back, Baby”

jessica prattI missed this new Jessica Pratt song while I was out of town—my bad! Everyone should be aware that it exists, and that the former Amoebite is releasing her second album soon—On Your Own Love Again is due on Drag City Jan. 27. On the first track she’s released from it, Pratt’s elfin voice sings a pensive breakup tune amid loping, seaside acoustic guitar. Absolutely stunning.

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