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When Jessica Pratt emerged with her self-titled debut album a couple of years ago you could easily believe that someone had uncovered a lost artist from an earlier musical era. The black and white picture of her face on the cover was closely cropped and looked like it had been copied a few times, and the music within was equally hard to date, as it was simply consisted of a delicate yet distinctive female voice accompanied only by guitar.

When Jessica's story emerged it became clear that she wasn't some long lost artist in the Linda Perhacs/ Vashti Bunyan sense, but instead she was a contemporary musician, albeit one that had recorded her first batch of songs privately and never intended them to be released, until White Fence's Tim Presley heard them through a mutual friend and formed a label, Birth Records, for the sole purpose of releasing Jessica's debut album.

Now she has returned with On Your Own Love Again, an album which flows perfectly from where that debut left off. Recorded to four-track at home in California over the last two years it is once again a delicate, reflective affair. There are nine songs, and most of them feature just Jessica and her acoustic guitar, yet this time there is room for occasional keyboard touches on a couple of tracks and some adventurous multi-tracking of vocals to flesh out the sound. The cover image is in colour, with Jessica standing on a fire escape in front of a red brick office block. This time around there is more colour, more detail.

The most fascinating thing about it is Jessica's voice, which manages to sound child-like and world weary within the same song. She has been compared to both Joanna Newsom and Bessie Smith, and when you hear the way she weaves around on some of these songs, those comparisons make perfect sense.

Occasionally there seems to be a pop sensibility that wasn't so obvious on the debut, and tunes like 'Back, Baby' and 'Game That I Play' are catchier and have a lighter feel than some of her previous work, although the coda to the latter sounds like it is developing into a different, stranger song.

Although the album was made at home the recording sounds great - it's crystal clear and is not some scrappy lo-fi affair, though there are odd experimental touches. On 'Jacquelyn in the Background' the pitch shifts near the end of the song, as if she is trying to briefly create another voice, or maybe it was just a happy accident which she left in the mix.

Another deviation from the straight singer-songwriter set-up comes with the creative use of her own backing vocals, particularly on the wistful and mesmerising 'Strange Melody' where the backing vocal spars with the lead and there is also a noticeably flamenco tilt to the guitar lines.

This album is steeped in Californian influences and San Francisco in particular. Folk and psychedelia from the past and present play a large part, and whilst it has none of the rock elements of current acts like Ty Segall or Thee Oh Sees for example, it isn't a million miles from some of White Fence's gentler psych. This is most evident on tracks like 'Moon Dude' and 'I've Got A Feeling', the latter of which is also cleverly arranged to come across like a whole acoustic ensemble.

'Wrong Hand' is wistful and gentle, though the distant keys in the background add a melancholic tone worthy of Nick Drake, which is also evident on the faster paced 'Greycedes', and the beautiful title track is a brief but fitting way to wrap up the album. Overall, On Your Own Love Again is a mesmerising, bewitching listen.

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