A Long Night of Heartbreak

A Long Night of Heartbreak

March 27, 2013

by Chris Hess
Review of Dylan Pratt's Beg For Fire (2013)
That call always comes at the tipping point in the evening. They’ve left each other. You’ll be right over. Walking in...the whiskey’s already poured, the workboots are untied and still on his feet, and the cigarette smoke smells alright.

We step into rooms with each other. Sometimes for each other. Conversations are listening sessions.

Beg For Fire — the second full length release from alt-folk songwriter Dylan Pratt — carries the weight of a long night in the company of heartbreak. Pulling this way and that with swaying emotions and muddled exchanges that carry threads into moments of stark clarity, it’s familiar territory for most souls. Perhaps that’s what makes it such a fine listen.

Most songs on the album showcase Pratt’s steady voice and wise guitarwork (read: he knows how to play better than most and when not to overdo it). His songwriting is at one moment beyond his twenty some-odd years, and at another you're across the table from a homesick young man in need of company while he's on the emotional mend.

Fire starts out pointedly with the title track and the hauntingly charming "Above As Below." From there, the album turns in circles a bit. And this happens in the thick of muddied logic. Echoing, discontent piano parts and thoughtfully bare drums come alongside Pratt's voice and guitar in a section of the effort that can be taxing to listen through. Not because it's poorly crafted, but because it rings true, most notably on the intensely personal "Poisoined Fruit."

The instrumental "Golden Garden" is a hinge to the album, a corner turned in the wee hours of the morning. Showcasing Pratt's ability to communicate without words, it gives way to songs of fortitude and resignation to what's past is past.

"There's too many things you wish you could change. Made up plans and faulty escapes. You're too far in your own head," Pratt sings on "Somewhere To Run," just before the sun starts to come up on the close of Beg For Fire. The sound of a full band unfolds on an otherwise sparse album, resolute in moving on down the road. The air outside the room is brash and fresh with the early morning chill. The conversation is over, though points replay over and over in your head. And while it's not your burden, you help carry others through it. It's what we're reminded to do.

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up. We don't allow comments that are disrespectful or personally attack our blog writers.

Also in The Waking

The Eager Acolyte
The Eager Acolyte

January 11, 2022

Without hesitation, he brings the cup to his fleshy lips, tipping it back, gulping audibly, his Adam’s apple moving like a mouse beneath a blanket. That nothing may be lost.

Read More

Inventory of a Love Addict
Inventory of a Love Addict

January 04, 2022

Now you have a delicate moth clawing its way up your hand. Beneath it, stone fruit, ripe. You think of Persephone. You wonder how much of love ends in transaction, an exchange. 

Read More

Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy - Ruminate Magazine
Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy

December 21, 2021 1 Comment

Baking is precise and often pretty; cooking, more improvisational; I like them both and lose myself that way, which is a life skill and I recommend it.

Read More