Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle, my god

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Been a long time since a debut from a singer-songwriter hit me this hard

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmGVIvf8Q6s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKiAQzYKrVo

"Rejoice" is a performance for the ages

Evan R, Thursday, 5 November 2015 20:49 (one year ago) Permalink

Kind of reminds me of hearing Because I Was In Love for the first time and appreciating that this is a songwriter who will probably go on to make better records, but will probably never make one this raw and pure again

Evan R, Thursday, 5 November 2015 20:51 (one year ago) Permalink

oh yeah this record gave me a nervous breakdown

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Thursday, 5 November 2015 22:12 (one year ago) Permalink

I had to take breaks from it when I first started listening to it, now I can't pull myself away. Just finished my fourth listen today.

Evan R, Friday, 6 November 2015 03:11 (one year ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fynGDdomiI4

Evan R, Monday, 9 November 2015 21:05 (one year ago) Permalink

lol sorry if you feel alone in this thread evan, this is a really stunning record that deserves more attention (it's getting huge in the emo circles i run in tbf)

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Monday, 9 November 2015 21:47 (one year ago) Permalink

this is the one that kills me (i listened to it for the first time like... two days before a breakup)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Xj72bDud40

insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Monday, 9 November 2015 22:01 (one year ago) Permalink

really good record, title track is the killer for me, so economically crushing.

the naive cockney chorus (Simon H.), Monday, 9 November 2015 22:14 (one year ago) Permalink

It's a top 5 of the year record for me. And it is funny, it does push my "I love this and so I want other people to really love this, too" button in a way I usually don't allow

Evan R, Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:25 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm impressed by how much she does here. A lot of songwriters around her age/from her scene thrive on small, slice of life, slice of relationship songs, but she takes such a bigger view. She's writing about addiction, dependency, faith, mortality—all these huge topics it's really hard to do justice to in such intimate songs, but somehow she pulls it off. It's a big album disguised as a little one.

Evan R, Wednesday, 11 November 2015 16:28 (one year ago) Permalink

Pulse is slow
Faint metronome on my left side
Beneath my protruding spine
You can hardly hear the knife
Lying flat, blind on
Covering my sunken eyes
And the line rightful
Aimed at my sick mind

This album might have topped my EOY lists if I'd had just a little more time with it. Been listening nonstop and somehow I'm still loving it more each time.

Evan R, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 19:51 (one year ago) Permalink

I have nothing to add other than that I agree this is a very good record.

michaellambert, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 20:10 (one year ago) Permalink

i'm hearing lyrics that might seem trite or cliched on paper, but she really sells them

yes wave (rip van wanko), Tuesday, 24 November 2015 20:47 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah it's her voice that tells the story usually

Evan R, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 21:43 (one year ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME1gGWsK9rE

I'm probably just gonna keep bumping this thread until every song from the album has been posted here b/c I love them all

Evan R, Monday, 30 November 2015 21:19 (one year ago) Permalink

I think it's a beautifully recorded album. That video there sounds lovely too. I'm a total sucker for that type of guitar sound. I should play more. Or at all.

michaellambert, Monday, 30 November 2015 22:09 (one year ago) Permalink

"I've kissed enough bathroom sinks to make up for the lovers who never loved me"

Evan R, Thursday, 3 December 2015 20:22 (one year ago) Permalink

I've only been able to listen to this album twice in total. it is so impressive and gorgeous and spacious and I literally can't listen to it without crying haha

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 December 2015 20:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Yeah I could only digest it in tiny nibbles for the first week or so, but it's been a constant companion since I got inoculated to it. (I still have to skip "Sometimes" and "Rejoice" some days though)

Evan R, Thursday, 3 December 2015 20:39 (one year ago) Permalink

I think her use of space is the most remarkable thing about this. it's like hovering over a black hole

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Thursday, 3 December 2015 21:14 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I just let the silence swallow me up
The ring in my ears tastes like blood
Asking aloud, "Why you leavin'?"
But the pavement won't answer me

Evan R, Friday, 18 December 2015 01:20 (one year ago) Permalink

Also enjoying the 2013 LP from Baker's previous band, which is on Bandcamp. A lot of it sounds like Paramore by way of Codeine

http://thestarkillerstn.bandcamp.com/track/vertical-cities-2

Evan R, Monday, 21 December 2015 19:17 (one year ago) Permalink

A lot of it sounds like Paramore by way of Codeine

oh this will probably actually kill me

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 21 December 2015 19:33 (one year ago) Permalink

The passion itt has spurred me to check this out. Can I just say, though, that I only opened the thread in the first place because I misunderstood and thought that Sprained Ankle, My God was a really hilarious album title.

Some Pizza Grudge From Twenty Years Ago (Old Lunch), Monday, 21 December 2015 19:51 (one year ago) Permalink

Can I just say, though, that I only opened the thread in the first place because I misunderstood and thought that Sprained Ankle, My God was a really hilarious album title.

Well it took me reading this post to realize that was not the title...

(I would listen to the songs posted here but for the most part they're not available in my country, I don't get the fucking logic behind doing that if you're an artist or a label)

moans and feedback (Dinsdale), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:14 (one year ago) Permalink

People who forget it's the 21st C. clinging to antiquated models of media distribution iirc.

Some Pizza Grudge From Twenty Years Ago (Old Lunch), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:17 (one year ago) Permalink

raise yr hand if you recognized the "In Christ Alone" melody right away

alpine static, Monday, 21 December 2015 20:20 (one year ago) Permalink

man this star killers record is amazing

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:41 (one year ago) Permalink

like REALLY amazing

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:58 (one year ago) Permalink

I was thinking "holy shit it's an album tailor-made for Brad" the first few times I heard it.

I like the structuring of it, where the plucky, emo-y opening stretch gives way to spacier, moodier songs as the album goes on. So much good material here. And that last song really foreshadows her solo record

Evan R, Monday, 21 December 2015 21:43 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

it has become my favorite album from 2015, ordered the cd a week ago

it is amazing

niels, Thursday, 14 January 2016 15:07 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm thinking about driving to Madison (a three-hour round trip) this Saturday to see her play an opening set on a bill with three other bands. My guess is she'll play 20 minutes tops? But it's still tempting.

Evan R, Thursday, 14 January 2016 18:38 (one year ago) Permalink

I really hope she does a European tour but at the same time I'm already nervous abt the crowd cause it would need to be pretty quiet for her show to work I imagine

somehow listening to the album alone is perfect setting

niels, Thursday, 14 January 2016 18:42 (one year ago) Permalink

I saw a post on Facebook about a London show.

NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Thursday, 14 January 2016 21:49 (one year ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw-qbPq1y70

Evan R, Sunday, 24 January 2016 23:17 (one year ago) Permalink

this is really good
but i'm not going to listen to this again
just to make a couple references to things i listened to when i was younger and more prone to want to wallow in my own sadness

(this is not to say this is stylistically the same this is way more 00s indie/post-emo)

but it reminds me of the first elliot smith album and a lot of the songs: ohia/magnolia electric co. in that it's the type of music that wants to "pull you under" so to speak and i think she's good and talented but nope nope nope

Amira, Queen of Creativity (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 25 January 2016 15:15 (one year ago) Permalink

niels, she has a handful of dates in Belgium, UK, Spain and Germany at the end of May listed here: https://www.facebook.com/julienrbaker/app/308540029359/

NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Monday, 25 January 2016 17:07 (one year ago) Permalink

great news!

the type of music that wants to "pull you under" so to speak and i think she's good and talented but nope nope nope
so damn otm (but yes yes yes)

niels, Monday, 25 January 2016 18:52 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah i get the same feeling as ums, which is why i've listened to this album approximately 3 times in total

it's amazing still

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 25 January 2016 18:57 (one year ago) Permalink

Also obv I hope there is more distance between her and her work than the two I mentioned

Amira, Queen of Creativity (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 26 January 2016 00:22 (one year ago) Permalink

this album, my god

alpine static, Tuesday, 2 February 2016 18:19 (one year ago) Permalink

Do you think that there's a way I could ever get too far
That you'd ask me where I'd been
Like I ask you where you are?

alpine static, Tuesday, 2 February 2016 18:19 (one year ago) Permalink

I guess I'll have to go on a small vacation - anyone happen to know that one of these venues is particularly great?

was talking to a friend abt this record - we both feel there's an age specifity to some of the emotions Baker expresses, and at first this made us appreciate the record from a distance, but then it pulls you in, and suddenly it's like being a teenager again, let's you access some p strong emotions

(not sure if I'm expressing myself clearly, certainly don't want it to come off as patronizing)

niels, Tuesday, 9 February 2016 11:13 (one year ago) Permalink

whoa thanks for posting! i jsut watched the full concert vid and they mentioned east coast tour, which i didn't know about :)

Worth Taking from Little Kid (Will M.), Thursday, 11 February 2016 16:49 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

New song for NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts. It's sad and pretty, like all the others

http://www.npr.org/2016/03/04/469247254/julien-baker-tiny-desk-concert?autoplay=true

Evan R, Monday, 7 March 2016 21:37 (one year ago) Permalink

yeeeees she's coming to Aarhus in May!

niels, Friday, 18 March 2016 11:30 (one year ago) Permalink

Been a long time since a debut from a singer-songwriter hit me this hard

I drove from Mississippi to Nashville to see her a week or two ago, because I feel the same way. Her record reminds of when the first Smiths record came out when I was a teenager. Not that it sounds anything like the Smiths, but there is that same feeling that this person is articulating emotions that I have felt. You could have heard a pin drop while she was playing, she had the room in the palm of her hand, although her between-song banter was self-deprecating and funny.

Aside from the lyrics, I love how the music is sooooooo spare and spartan: she gets an awful lot out of one or two chords and a delay pedal. In that regard, it reminds me of the very early Durutti Column records, if they were slowed and stripped down even further.

Driver 8, Saturday, 19 March 2016 06:50 (one year ago) Permalink

The musical side of it is so perfect, just can't imagine these songs any other way.

michaellambert, Saturday, 19 March 2016 14:31 (one year ago) Permalink

Again marveling at what a remarkable feat this album is. Over the last six months nearly every track on it has been my favorite at some point (most recently I landed on "Good News" as the clear standout, but that could change). Can't think of a recent record that unfolded and grew on me at such a systematic pace. I never burn out on the record, because every time I think I've finally tapped it dry, a different song starts speaking to me.

Evan R, Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:02 (one year ago) Permalink

Ack, jesus christ speak of the devil

http://www.stereogum.com/1874106/watch-julien-baker-sing-good-news-with-sharon-van-etten-in-nyc/video/

Evan R, Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:09 (one year ago) Permalink

i saw her and it was remarkable, really could hear a pindrop (except for the creaky-ass floor at the venue... at one point someone near the front needed to go to the washroom or something, and she walked away, and it was SO LOUD)

after seeing her live, rejoice absolutely jumped out, what a song

yellow despackling power (Will M.), Thursday, 28 April 2016 16:39 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

saw her live friday, absolutely amazing - entire show was a highlight but "everybody does", "good news", "blacktop" and "go home" stood out for me, eyes welling up

quickly ran into her later and she came off as the nicest person, as she also does in recent piece published on p4k

while the songs feel very contemporary to me in their intimacy, I couldn't help but feel they could become part of the western cannon same way as dylan/joni/browne/townes/etc's stuff

niels, Monday, 23 May 2016 10:27 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

bury me with this album

Evan R, Friday, 1 July 2016 19:59 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

NPR is streaming her set at Newport. Starts a bit slow but it's great
http://www.npr.org/event/music/488354526/julien-baker-live-in-concert-newport-folk-2016

video2000, Wednesday, 3 August 2016 20:46 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

Signed to Matador, no shock there. "Funeral Pyre" is a bruiser.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 13:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

Do you reckon we'll get a second album this year following the Matador signing? I really hope so.

NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:17 (eight months ago) Permalink

seconded

niels, Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:36 (eight months ago) Permalink

I think there's a very good chance of that happening, yeah

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 11 January 2017 14:38 (eight months ago) Permalink

Funeral Pyre sounds great

Wonder if she'll record with a band now she's on a bigger label

niels, Thursday, 12 January 2017 13:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Kind of reminds me of hearing Because I Was In Love for the first time and appreciating that this is a songwriter who will probably go on to make better records, but will probably never make one this raw and pure again

― Evan R, jueves 5 de noviembre de 2015 20:51 (one year ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Ha! I was just talking about this with a friend yesterday. She's 21 I think? She certainly has the potential talent to continue doing even better music but as she gets older it's a given that sensitive types of singers get a bit burnt down and they stop delivering heavily emotional performances. Most I've seen become more tired, more cynical or simply start becoming more obsessed about layering sounds in the studio instead of raw performances.

I don't think she'll ever be as

dance cum rituals (Moka), Wednesday, 1 February 2017 18:58 (seven months ago) Permalink

Whoa pushed submit by accident. Anyways watch her live while you can!

dance cum rituals (Moka), Wednesday, 1 February 2017 19:01 (seven months ago) Permalink

I listened to "Sprained Ankle" the other week and it almost broke me in half

monotony, Wednesday, 1 February 2017 22:21 (seven months ago) Permalink

but it was just a sprain, tho?

Spottie, Wednesday, 1 February 2017 22:23 (seven months ago) Permalink

"Everybody Does" sends these weird and terrible shivers down my spine every time.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Saturday, 4 February 2017 09:01 (seven months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

new song "distant solar systems" is out there

the raindrops and drop tops of lived, earned experience (BradNelson), Friday, 17 March 2017 14:53 (six months ago) Permalink

Almost breezy by her standards!

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 17 March 2017 15:10 (six months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

another new song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI7fFavJQ0k

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Saturday, 10 June 2017 16:07 (three months ago) Permalink

sounds great, digging the guitar work

niels, Saturday, 10 June 2017 16:42 (three months ago) Permalink

also: https://www.instagram.com/p/BUpXYC5AE2s/

niels, Saturday, 10 June 2017 16:42 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

new album turn out the lights out october 27

https://media.pitchfork.com/photos/5994f719b5493d7110d146be/master/pass/JB_cover02.jpg

new song "appointments" is on spotify and etc.

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 17 August 2017 14:36 (one month ago) Permalink

Yay! Looking forward to crying all November.

devvvine, Thursday, 17 August 2017 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

sounds great!

loving the cover, wonder if it's for sale as a poster somewhere?

niels, Thursday, 17 August 2017 17:00 (one month ago) Permalink

cool I'm tearing up at work

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 17 August 2017 17:48 (one month ago) Permalink

her voice is huge in the last bit, my goodness

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 17 August 2017 18:10 (one month ago) Permalink

only songwriter who's ever made me physically reluctant to press play for fear of what she might make me experience

Her first album is inextricably associated with a personal trauma, so that's a big part of it, but she's the only artist that's given me that feeling. Like, I don't even know a way of describing it that isn't completely hyperbolic. I don't feel like I'm listening to the songs, I feel like they're happening to me, the evocations are so strong.

Evan R, Thursday, 17 August 2017 21:09 (one month ago) Permalink

The first new song is great, shivers down the back of the neck at the finale!

brain (krakow), Thursday, 17 August 2017 22:30 (one month ago) Permalink

four weeks pass...

Video for Appointments just released: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdBu21i9aEE

I really like the latter stages.

brain (krakow), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:24 (six days ago) Permalink

i thought the first album was called 'sprained ankle, my god' because of this thread until i saw it in a record store last week

flopson, Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:45 (six days ago) Permalink

i gotta be real "appointments" reminds me of taylor swift's "dear john"

for me this is a great thing

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:48 (six days ago) Permalink

or like "dear john" merging with jimmy eat world's "hear you me"

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 14 September 2017 16:49 (six days ago) Permalink

haha, I didn't know those songs but listening now and very otm - she def has the potential to cross over

loving the single, which is apparently the first one off the album, maybe the other 2 were from an abandoned ep?

niels, Friday, 15 September 2017 07:46 (five days ago) Permalink

jfc this new album

I know you do better when you're by yourself
Free from the weight of my dirt-poor health...

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 15:55 (two days ago) Permalink

wait is the new album out out yet or you're just talking about the singles?

i'm so excited i'm seeing her next month in philly

Mordy, Monday, 18 September 2017 15:57 (two days ago) Permalink

New album. Not out yet, but I've been sitting on a stream I've been too timid to listen to until lately

I probably won't spend too much time with the LP before it's public. This is unusually fraught territory for me, so I kinda want the support group experience of listening to it with other people. (Without getting too much into my personal stuff, "Appointments" alone is enough to leave me in a mild fog of panic for hours. There was a time when Baker's music really helped build me back up, but lately it feels like a straight trigger, sad in an almost unhealthy/unconstructive way, so I don't quite know what to do with it now. In a lifetime of listening to music, I've never been in a position remotely like this before).

But as for the album itself it's gorgeous and triumphant and potent and brilliantly written and it totally lives up to the promise of the debut, while expanding on it in so many different ways. I'm hoping I can find a place for it in my life, because it's phenomenal.

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 16:07 (two days ago) Permalink

um what do i have to do to get access to that stream?

Mordy, Monday, 18 September 2017 16:16 (two days ago) Permalink

pitch a review somewhere. If you're interested in possibly covering it I can PM you the publicist contact (it's being serviced through a very critic-friendly PR firm and label)

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 16:26 (two days ago) Permalink

hmmm i haven't written a review in like 5 years but it might be worth it to hear this early...

Mordy, Monday, 18 September 2017 16:28 (two days ago) Permalink

yeah can't hurt. Even if you just wanted to pitch somewhere small or modest, a blog you enjoy or something, it might be worth it and the publicist would probably be cool with that. It's the kind of album that stirs a lot of thoughts. I can't imagine anybody listening and being like, "nah, I don't have much to say about this."

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 16:42 (two days ago) Permalink

When is this coming out? 'Appointments' is so achingly great.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 18 September 2017 17:05 (two days ago) Permalink

listening to Sprained Ankle now, it is indeed a unique tearjerker

niels, Monday, 18 September 2017 17:34 (two days ago) Permalink

Out Oct. 27, just before the cruelest week of the year (when daylight savings time ends and the world suddenly feels very, very dark).

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 18:19 (two days ago) Permalink

Ahhh that's perfect, thanks

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 18 September 2017 18:24 (two days ago) Permalink

Two more thoughts then I'll shut up for a few weeks: The title track is an experience and I'm excited to see how she plays it live, and "Sour Breath" is one of her best songs

Evan R, Monday, 18 September 2017 19:10 (two days ago) Permalink

Any percussion?

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Monday, 18 September 2017 20:14 (two days ago) Permalink

Appointments has an indie-Christian Contemporary element that sticks out to me, like Eisley (Texas band) a decade ago.

louise ck (milo z), Monday, 18 September 2017 20:18 (two days ago) Permalink

No spoilers!

(j/k :))

xp

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 18 September 2017 20:18 (two days ago) Permalink

I do not get any (indie-)Christian vibes from Appointments, but that's probably because Jesus isn't alright with me :) She does believe in god, so that would make perfect sense.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 18 September 2017 20:20 (two days ago) Permalink

no doubt in my mind JB knows Eisley's stuff

the little "In Christ Alone" interlude at the end of "Go Home" on Sprained Ankle threw me for a loop the first time i heard it

alpine static, Monday, 18 September 2017 20:50 (two days ago) Permalink


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