Jessica Pratt announces new album

Jessica Pratt announces new album




Watch the video for ‘Life Is’ here:

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Jessica Pratt has today announced her fourth album, Here in the Pitch, will be released on 3 May via City Slang (Mexican Summer in the US). Alongside the announcement she has shared the video for lead single ‘Life Is’. Additionally, Pratt has announced a tour this spring and summer throughout Europe and the USA which includes a show at London‘s Union Chapel on 6 June. Over the last 12 years, the revered Los Angeles artist has become one of the most singular songwriters of her generation, largely through the mystical, elusive blend of just her delicate acoustic guitar and breathtaking vocals. Here in the Pitch, however, is a very different kind of album from Pratt and features some of her most adventurous music yet. She envisioned a more expansive set of influences—”big panoramic sounds that make you think of the ocean and California”— and throughout these nine songs, timpani, glockenspiel, baritone saxophone, and flute are layered alongside robust vocal arrangements that create a triumphant mood, even when the lyrics hint at devastation.

This broader production palette is immediately apparent on the haunting album opener and first single, ‘Life Is’. A percussion roll nods to the grand, orchestral style of ’60s pop hits like the Walker Brothers’ ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’. “In a way, it’s kind of a false flag”, Pratt admits of this widescreen introduction to the album, considering the rest of the record is just as emotionally intimate and stark as fans have come to expect. “But I also feel like it’s a statement of intention”. Meanwhile, the lyrics are an impressionistic paean to the vagaries of ambition. “Life came and went and you didn’t land where you thought you would”, Pratt says of the song. “It’s the third act and you’re trying to climb back on the horse before it gets dark”. The mesmerising video, co-directed by Colby Droscher and Pratt, was shot around New York City in late 2023 and looks to films of Kenneth Anger and Stan Brakhage for inspiration.

Five years after her 2019 breakthrough album Quiet Signs (8.4 ‘Best New Music‘ Pitchfork), Pratt has re-emerged with new ambition and new parameters for what her music can be. Working once again at Gary’s Electric Studio in Brooklyn with her trusted collaborators — multi-instrumentalist/engineer Al Carlson and keyboardist Matt McDermott — Pratt enlisted the rhythm duo of bassist Spencer Zahn and percussionist Mauro Refosco (David Byrne, Atoms for Peace) to help realise her vision, alongside contributions from Ryley WalkerPeter Mudge (Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar), and Alex Goldberg.

If Pratt’s early albums—2012’s word-of-mouth favourite Jessica Pratt and 2015’s beautiful On Your Own Love Again—seemed beamed in from a dimly lit bedroom somewhere in the distant past, these songs stand on more solid ground. The tone can range from comforting and even chipper (“When you’ve fallen out, get both feet on the ground”, she reassures during the chiming chorus of ‘Life Is’) to a malevolent quality that feels entirely new in her songbook.

“I became obsessed with figures emblematic of the dark side of the Californian dream while making this record”, Pratt explains, noting the influence of Los Angeles’ strange, seedy history and the bleak end of the hippy era. You can hear this playfully villainous perspective emerging in her imagistic lyrics, although the clearest shift is in her vocal performance. While Pratt admits to always seeking inspiration from voices that sound like they’ve been “drug through life”, she worked on these songs to develop a fuller, more physical style that draws from the dignified baritone of Scott Walker and the weathered theatrics of latter-day Judy Garland.

If a sense of hope is clear in Pratt’s words, it’s even clearer in her performance: placing her voice at the forefront and creating an emotional immediacy that sets this record apart from all her past work. “I never wanted it to take this long. I’m just a real perfectionist”, she explains of the album’s long gestation, which spanned from summer 2020 to the spring of 2023. “I was just trying to get the right feeling, and it takes a long time to do that”. With Here in the Pitch, Pratt comes as close as she ever has to this feeling of perfection, to music you can reach out and touch in the air around you, to summoning with every note the hope and mystery, the horror and romance, that lingers within the silence. Through these songs, she suggests those qualities are precisely what keeps us listening, over and over again.

Photo Credit: Samuel Hess

High-res images can be found here

Pre-order Here in the Pitch here:

Here in the Pitch tracklist:

1. Life Is
2. Better Hate
3. World on a String
4. Get Your Head Out
5. By Hook or by Crook
6. Nowhere It Was
7. Empires Never Know
8. Glances
9. The Last Year

Tour dates:

31 May – Barcelona, ES @ Primavera Sound
2 June – Paris, FR @ L’Alhambra ^
3 June – Brussels, BE @ AB Theater ^
4 June – Amsterdam, NL @ Zonnehuis ^

6 June – London @ Union Chapel ^ TICKETS

20 June – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
21 June – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriet’s
22 June – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s 365 Club
26 June – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
27 June – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
24 July – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
26 July – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
27 July – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair

^ = support from Joanna Sternberg

Tickets are available here: