I first came across Jessica Pratt via California psychedelic wizard White Fence, who actually started Birth Records specifically for her (“I never wanted to ever start a record label… but there is something about her voice I couldn’t let go of”). And indeed, Pratt’s voice is lilting and sweet and somehow evokes a history of psychedelic folk music while also plunging into the future of it. Her new album On Your Own Love Again is her debut on major label Drag City, and thus we have every reason to be excited for her.
“Back, Baby” is a refreshing return and tempo increase from her previous effort (s/t LP), combining the now-expected layered acoustic guitar melodies with that distinctive voice she got her own label for. It’s a song about impossibility, about nostalgia, about regret (“your love was just a myth I devised,” “things walk that you can never take back again”) and about how we can’t just go “back, baby,” no matter how much we “pray for the rain.” Sort of a depressing statement, but the tonality of the song doesn’t leave me hanging on sadly as a listener; it brings me up, refreshes me, pushes me onward. All in all, a pretty and moving effort, and an excellent reminder that Pratt is making her way up in the world.