JULIEN BAKER – ” Hardline “

Posted: January 15, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC

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Judging by the first single, “Faith Healer,” Julien Baker’s official solo follow-up to 2017’s Turn Out The Lights will be her most fleshed-out sounding solo album yet. A departure from her more stark, minimalistic material, “Faith Healer” features a full band, drums included, while losing none of the power of Julien’s emotionally charged vocals and lyrics. The album — her first release since 2018’s Boygenius EP that had her teamed up with Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers — was recorded before the pandemic, but we’re counting on its arrival to resonate deeply in lockdown all the same.

Julien Baker has shared the second single off her highly-anticipated third album, “Little Oblivions”, the highly-anticipated third album, is due out February 26th via Matador, and she’s just shared its second single, first track “Hardline.” Like “Faith Healer,” it’s a more fleshed-out sounding song than many others we’ve heard from Julien in the past, but it’s still as emotionally resonant as her more spare, bare bones material.

“A few years ago I started collecting travel ephemera again with a loose idea of making a piece of art with it,” Julien writes. “I had been touring pretty consistently since 2015 and had been traveling so much that items like plane tickets and hotel key cards didn’t have much novelty anymore. So I saved all my travel stuff and made a little collage of a house and a van out of it. I wanted to incorporate it into the record and when we were brainstorming ideas for videos we came across Joe Baughman and really liked his work so we reached out with the idea of making a stop-motion video that had similar aesthetic qualities as the house I built did. I don’t know why I have the impulse to write songs or make tiny sculptures out of plane tickets. But here it is anyway: a bunch of things I’ve collected and carried with me that I’ve re-organized into a new shape.”

Baughman directed the video for “Hardline,” he writes, “even after having spent 600 hours immersed in ‘Hardline’ and having listened to it thousands of times, I am still moved by it. It was a fun and ambitious challenge creating something that could accompany such a compelling song. The style of the set design, inspired by a sculpture that Julien created, was especially fun to work in. I loved sifting through magazines, maps, and newspapers from the 60s and 70s and finding the right colours, shapes, and quotes to cover almost every surface in the video.”

Meanwhile, Julien recently taped a performance for KEXP Radio a week ago, which just came out today; it includes a solo acoustic performance of Soundgarden’s “Fell on Black Days” around the 43 minute mark, and you can watch the whole thing below.

Julien Baker sharing a live performance recorded exclusively for KEXP and talking to Cheryl Waters. Recorded January 6th, 2021.

Songs: Faith Healer Song in E Hardline Fell on Black Days

Julien Baker – vocals / guitar / keys Calvin Lauber – bass Mariah Schneider – guitar / bg vocals Matt Gilliam – drums Noah Forbes – keys (overdubbed) Becca Mancari – guest bg vocals Session recorded at Third Man Records in Nashville, TN

Julien also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week performing  “Faith Healer.”

Julien Baker makes her return to A Late Show with this performance of “Faith Healer” from her upcoming album “Little Oblivions,” available everywhere on February 26th.

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