Jessica Pratt
with Jessica Pratt, Tony Molina
Sat | Jun 22
Doors: 08:00 pm / Show: 09:00 pm
21 and up
Please note - there is a delivery delay set for 2 weeks prior to show.


Jessica Pratt

From the opening seconds of “Life Is,” it’s clear that Here in the Pitch is a very different kind of album from Jessica Pratt. The revered Los Angeles artist has become one of the most singular and distinctive songwriters of her generation, largely through the bewitching sound of her acoustic guitar and vocals: a mystical, elusive blend that conjures deep emotional responses from her devoted (and patient) audience. To introduce her first release in half-a-decade, however, we are greeted by neither her breathtaking vocals nor the delicate, sophisticated strum of her guitar. Instead, Pratt’s fourth album begins with a percussion roll that nods instantly 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 introduction, 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.”

Indeed, five years after her breakthrough album, 2019’s Quiet Signs—which marked her first time working in a studio after years of home-recording—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, NY, 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 realize her vision. “Having done a studio record prior, I learned how to get to the things you want and how to communicate it to people,” she says. “The process this time was less about exploration of a new tool and more about taking what I learned and going further.”

Pratt quickly envisioned a more expansive set of influences—“big panoramic sounds that make you think of the ocean and California”—and the results are evident in the dynamic repertoire of instruments accompanying her graceful, dreamlike melodies. Throughout these nine songs, you will hear timpani and glockenspiel, baritone saxophone and flute alongside robust, layered vocal arrangements that create a triumphant mood, even when the lyrics hint at devastation.

To achieve this sense of musical resilience, Pratt cites Pet Sounds as her “north star” in pursuing a fuller production style. But where plenty of artists look to the Beach Boys’ 1966 landmark as the untouchable precedent for symphonic grandeur, Pratt found herself drawn to the shadowy outskirts of those recordings. “It’s the atmospheric silence,” she explains. “There are times when you feel like you’re just hearing the studio for a moment. Those were always so intriguing for me as a young person, feeling like you could reach out and touch the texture of the sound in the air.”

If Pratt’s early albums—2012’s word-of-mouth favorite Jessica Pratt and 2015’s devastatingly 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 haunted, 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. This creeping doom and illumination is palpable in the twisted bossa nova groove of “By Hook or by Crook” and the cryptic, antagonistic lyrics on the otherwise sunny, Laurel Canyon-influenced “Better Hate.”

“I spend a lot of time worrying and imagining bad things happening,” Pratt confesses. “So maybe the idea of creatively inhabiting a character who wields the power is interesting.” 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. Exploring her lower register on the dazzling “World on a String” and the otherworldly piano ballad “Empires Never Know,” esoteric themes and influences led to her most adventurous music yet.

Nowhere is Pratt’s evolution clearer than on the closing track, “The Last Year,” which ranks among her most gorgeous and bittersweet compositions to date: a song that feels like it could have existed in the Great American Songbook for ages. “I think it’s gunna be fine/I think we’re gunna be together/And the storyline goes forever,” she sings, tapping into a universal resolution that offers what she calls a “weird optimism” at the end of a record that leads down some admittedly dark roads. (The “pitch” in Here in the Pitch refers to both “pitch darkness” and bitumen, the black viscous substance that forms deep below the surface of the earth.) 

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, on the edge of our seats.

—Sam Sodomsky

Tony Molina

Northern California native Tony Molina has a restless, multi-faceted musical personality. He got his start playing in hardcore bands, but over time developed two distinct styles that are very far removed from that sound. Initially under the name Ovens, then as a solo artist, he crafts bite-sized chunks of melodic pop that can be broken into two sub-headings: quiet acoustic guitar-led ballads and noisy electric songs that sound like Teenage Fanclub with J Mascis and the Fastbacks' Kurt Bloch spearheading a dual guitar attack.

Molina broke through with 2013's Dissed and Dismissed, which leaned almost exclusively on his louder songs to great effect. Not content to be pigeonholed, however, he switched to the gentle, acoustic side of his dual nature for his next two releases -- which included the eight-song EP Confront the Truth in 2016 and 2018's Baroque pop-influenced LP Kill the Lights.  2019 saw the release of Songs From San Mateo County, a 14 song collection of previously recorded unreleased tracks, released while Molina was working on songs for 2022's In the Fade, an album that incorporated all aspects of his previous work as a solo artist.

In 2023, Molina also released In The Store with his side project The Lost Days.  Featuring friend and fellow musician Sarah Rose Janko on vocals, the album is made up of beautiful home recorded folk rock songs written by Molina, with Janko and Molina trading off vocals.   2023, a busy year for Molina, also saw the vinyl release of OVENS, a 44 song double LP on label Tank Crimes, a collection of Molina’s early, signature song writing style with his band Ovens.  That year also saw the first- ever vinyl reissue of Embarrasing Times, Molina’s first & hard-to-find cassette release, on label Tank Crimes. 

Molina played in various D.I.Y. hardcore acts starting in his teenage years, while at the same time recording short songs that varied from acoustic ballads to almost symphonic metal, none of them lasting much more than a minute. This work was released under the name Ovens, beginning in 2006 with the "Beau Goes to the Hospital" single. He kept up a prolific pace, both as a member of bands and as Ovens, and in 2009 released the first music as Tony Molina, the 12-song Embarrassing Times cassette. In 2013, Molina released his second solo album, Dissed and Dismissed, a collection of 12 short and fuzzy tunes that took notes from '90s indie and power pop acts like Weezer, Redd Kross, and Dinosaur Jr. What was intended as a demo caught the attention of fans of melodic guitar pop and hooked two legendary American labels, Matador and Slumberland. The former released the Six Tracks EP later in 2013; the latter signed him and reissued Dissed and Dismissed in 2014. 


While playing guitar in the hardcore band Scalped, Molina began work on his first Slumberland record. He wrote and recorded over 40 songs, feeling pressure to make the record just right and wavering about which musical direction to take. In the end, he pivoted from making an album to releasing an EP instead. Stripping away the power and guitars from his pop sound, the eight-song Confront the Truth featured Molina playing acoustic guitars, adding keyboards, and channeling his love of the Beatles

His next album, 2018's Kill the Lights, came about much more naturally. He worked on some songs with a friend, Jasper Leach, and they decided to make a record out of the demos they had started. Recorded in two studios and a bedroom, the album was again built around Molina's acoustic guitar and winsome pop melodies, but this time featured some folk-rock-ready 12-string electric, a full-band sound, and Leach's keyboards. The next year, Molina put together a collection of previously unreleased songs from throughout his career. Titled Songs From San Mateo County, the 14-track album was released in July 2019, just about the time Molina was wrapping up a U.S. tour. 

When he began putting together another album, along with writing new songs, he also dipped back into the vaults to extract a few demos that were written during the Ovens era, but never finished. Once he had a batch ready, he braved the COVID lockdowns to head to the studio with long-time collaborator Leach at his side. Also helping out were drummer Josh Mendoza and Sarah Rose Janko, his partner in the folk-rock duo the Lost Days, who provided harmony vocals. The finished album, In the Fade, was released by Summer Shade, an offshoot of Run for Cover, in August of 2022 and was the first of his solo records to contain all the sides of his musical personality under one roof.