Julien Baker

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photo : Nolan Knight

There are going to be articles that will dig deeper into this album. Some of these journalists will have spent time with Julien, or they’ll know more about her or more about music. So I’ll just tell you how her music makes me feel and how I got to where I am with her music.

In 2016, Baker was added on to the Newport Folk Fest roster. At that point, I hadn’t clicked with her music and so that announcement was met with little fanfare from myself. It was the last day of the Fest and if there was anybody else playing, I’d probably have skipped her set. But my buddy Nick and I made our way over after a lovely set by Joan Shelley. I’m here to say, I’ve seen a ton of great sets in my life but that one was special. There was something about the bond between the audience and Julien on that day that left a lasting impression on me.

On the flight home, hungover from the Deer Tick show the night before, I slipped her debut Sprained Ankle into my ears. The sparse arrangements left plenty of room for her powerful lyrics. It was then that I realized just how amazing that album was. I’ve listened to it plenty since and its grown in stature.

Well, Turn Out The Lights is better. Its sad, in a hopeful sort of way. Its an album you’re meant to listen in the dark alone; yet obsess with friends over later. It’s an album that hits you immediately but will have the staying power of forever. Appointments, Happy To Be Here and the title track are the standouts to me in an album full of them.

As good as Turn Out The Lights is, this isn’t her high water mark. She’s just getting going. She’s a couple of albums away from her mic drop moment. Not to put pressure on her, but that’s going to be a generational album.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Julien Baker is here

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photo : Nolan Knight

If you’ve never taken the time to spin Julien Baker’s Newport Folk set, stop what you’re doing and check it out. That’s when the lights went on for me and I realized that she something special. Since then, she’s signed to Matador Records and she’s announced her sophomore effort, Turn Out The Lights on 10/27/17. Here’s some info on the album.

Recorded at the legendary Ardent Studios in Baker’s hometown of Memphis, TN, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ expands upon the sound and vision of Sprained Ankle while retaining the haunting, confessional songwriting style for which she has become known. Throughout the album, she reflects on experiences of her own and those closest to her, exploring the internal conflicts that wrestle inside us all: how we deal and cope with our struggles, and how it all impacts both ourselves and our relationships of all kinds. The result is a deeply empathetic album that embraces the grays and complex truths of humanity and mental health. Turn Out The Lights was written and produced by Baker, and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Arcade Fire, Florence & the Machine).

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Julien Baker is here

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