The three musicians behind the new project boygenius — Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus — are well known individually for their solo work, but have evidently been thinking about joining forces for some time now. After some vague teasing of a collaboration, we finally know what the songwriters have been up to. They’ll release a self-titled EP as boygenius in November and have shared three tracks, “Bite The Hand,” “Me & My Dog” and “Stay Down,” that are available to stream now. Continue reading →
There’s a word that’s often used to describe Julien Baker‘s music: devastating. I think I’ve seen it in almost every review and feature surrounding the release of Baker’s new album Turn Out the Lights; I think I’ve even used it myself. And it’s true, listening to Baker’s songs sometimes verges on painful — but in the most achingly beautiful way. From the Tennessee songwriter’s 2015 debut SprainedAnkle to the just-released Turn Out the Lights, Baker’s music is quiet but powerful, sparse but resonant, and sad in a way that makes it just about impossible to stop listening.
The heart-aching melancholy of Julien Baker may beg a quiet solo listen to her recordings (especially when unpacking the rich layers of the new album), but in a live setting, any sense of despondence that may accompany Baker’s music dissipates, replaced by an overwhelming sense of community. The persistent feeling of “we’re all sharing this special moment together” remained constant throughout Julien Baker’s headlining show at Union Transfer last night, and was shared not just by the audience but by all three sets of performers onstage. Continue reading →
The day is finally here, folks. It’s time to cry our eyes out to Julien Baker at Union Transfer. The Tennessee songwriter released her second LP Turn Out The Lights a few days ago, and if you haven’t had it’s stunningly sad songs on repeat, you’re missing out. Baker has enlisted an incredibly talent-filled lineup of supporting acts for this tour; you’ll want to arrive early to catch Half Waif and Petal. Watch the video for “Appointments” below, and find tickets and more information on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →
Julien Baker‘s lead single “Appointments” from her upcoming sophomore LP Turn Out The Lights has been giving us chills for the last two months. The album — a highly-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s Sprained Ankle — is out in just over two weeks, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting another murmur from Baker camp. Today, it’s finally arrived in the form of title track “Turn Out The Lights” and a beautiful video to go along with it. Continue reading →
The first time I heard Julien Baker was just about a year ago, and by a happy chance it was at the perfect combination of a live show in a small venue when she toured with British dark folk trio Daughter last summer – I’ve been a fan ever since. The Memphis singer-songwriter brings her voice and guitar on stage and leaves her entire soul, baring all and sparing nothing throughout the set that is both so wrenchingly personal and relatable at the same time. Continue reading →
Space and the universe and all that kind of freaks me out. So when I heard news about the NASA-discovered earth-like planets in the TRAPPIST-1 solar system, my reaction was a mix of total excitement and also ever-crippling fear and smallness.
In Julien Baker‘s new song, the beautiful and haunting “Distant Solar Systems,” she perfectly encapsulates this jumbled up feeling of wonder and awe and trepidation. In the song — the b-side to her new single “Funeral Pyre,” released via new label Matador Records – Baker’s minimal instrumentation and clear, emotional vocals layer to create an ethereal, soothing tone. Keeping with the title, the song matches large, atmospheric sounds that sweep a vast empty space, with a feeling of fragile vulnerability. Continue reading →
Julien Baker makes a return visit to Philadelphia for a show at Underground Arts tonight. The Memphis native brought her acclaimed Sprained Ankle debut to town earlier this year, wowing the audience with her gut wrenching but graceful songs about personal challenges and growth. Stream “Something” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with Grayling here.
Memphis native Julien Baker brings her debut solo LP to Boot & Saddle tonight. K. Ross Hoffman explored Sprained Ankle for a Key profile last week, noting that that the songs are “harrowing stuff; an impressionistic but unflinching annal of addiction, self-loathing and spiritual crisis…” set up against “unadorned but graceful melodies and simple, minimal acoustic guitar and piano arrangements.” Listen to “Something” below and pick up tickets to the 21+ show with Abi Reimold here.
The Sprained Ankle in the title of Julien Baker’s debut record happens to be purely metaphorical. But that’s a rare and merciful exception among the litany of pain, both physical and psychological, that the Memphis-based songwriter catalogues across the album’s 34 minutes: from wrapping a car around a streetlamp to the jitters of withdrawal, to the wrenching agony of heartbreak, to the empty, gnawing tedium of days spent in a hospital bed. It’s harrowing stuff; an impressionistic but unflinching annal of addiction, self-loathing and spiritual crisis – and perhaps all the more striking given Baker’s young age: she’s twenty now but was closer to eighteen when she wrote these songs. Continue reading →