It has become increasingly difficult to define “intimacy” in music — the word is so often used to describe any performance with a whispered sonic profile, self-pertaining lyrics, or a minimalist approach to processing effects (a sound that, ironically, usually involves quite a bit of production work). But even at its most basic definition, intimacy is not a description so much as a relationship; for songwriting, it is an amity the musician builds with the listener.
Jessica Pratt has all the hallmarks of what people associate with an intimate style, from the way you can nearly hear her skin rub against the guitar strings as she plucks upward on the notes, to her ghostly, idiosyncratic vocals. It is her approach, however, more so than any of her individual traits that defines the way the songwriter becomes such a uniquely affecting voice to her listeners. Pratt’s words are straightforward, but her conveyance is nuanced and erratic. Her guitar work combines tonal resonance with dexterous delivery, leading to chord progressions that feel altogether closer to hypnosis patterns.
The San Francisco-born singer will be performing on February 6 at Swedish American Hall, a venue that is becoming one of the most notoriously “intimate” settings in the city. While part of that reputation derives from architectural design, notorious bookings of only the most transparent of performers — including upcoming shows with Mitski and Lianne La Havas — deserve most of the credit. For an evening of haunting sound and spirit, Jessica Pratt is there for you; meanwhile The Bay Bridged is here to hook you up with a free pair of tickets to the show (details below).
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Swedish American Hall
February 6, 2016
8:30 PM, $18-20