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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years ago) Permalink

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

Evan R, Monday, 9 November 2015 21:05 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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 (two years 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

Any percussion?

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

No spoilers!

(j/k :))

xp

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

three weeks pass...

"turn out the lights" (the song) is out and it's stunning and huge

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 12 October 2017 22:16 (one month ago) Permalink

song is amazing, album is amazing. Does such a great job expanding the sound of her first album while preserving the feel of it.

Evan R, Friday, 13 October 2017 15:25 (one month ago) Permalink

my god

niels, Sunday, 15 October 2017 08:18 (one month ago) Permalink

Just bought tickets to see her at the end of November (w/David Bazan opening). She's playing a gorgeous old theater here with amazing acoustics, looking forward to just sinking into it.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 18 October 2017 03:24 (one month ago) Permalink

Seeing her next week for what will surely be her last gig under twenty bucks.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Wednesday, 18 October 2017 03:40 (one month ago) Permalink

she is amazing and deserves every success but boy did she zoom past Bazan, a guy who's been good to great for a long time

i realize this happens all the time, that xpost just struck me.

alpine static, Wednesday, 18 October 2017 06:56 (one month ago) Permalink

https://www.thefader.com/2017/10/18/julien-baker-turn-out-the-lights-sprained-ankle-interview

I just really need this to be streaming somewhere so I can properly cry along to the new songs at the gig next week

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 19 October 2017 14:01 (one month ago) Permalink

We speak a few days after Baker opened for one of her longtime heroes, Paramore
surprised at this connection - slightly off topic, where do I start if I want to get to know Paramore?

niels, Thursday, 19 October 2017 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

i like the self-titled a lot

Mordy, Thursday, 19 October 2017 16:00 (one month ago) Permalink

s/t or brand new eyes

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Thursday, 19 October 2017 16:05 (one month ago) Permalink

I used to get Paramore vibes from her music. Different volume levels, obviously, but there's a similar emotional/blunt candor to their songwriting

Seconding s/t; that one is their masterpiece. Riot! is one of my favorite alt-rock albums of the '00s, though, and probably their most influential, even if it's the one most people feel like they've outgrown

Evan R, Thursday, 19 October 2017 16:37 (one month ago) Permalink

the new one is my fave but it's definitely an outlier sonically. S/T is probably the correct answer

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Thursday, 19 October 2017 16:43 (one month ago) Permalink

thanks, will listen!

niels, Thursday, 19 October 2017 21:26 (one month ago) Permalink

She walked on right after "Rose-Colored Boy," lol

It was a v good show but not quite as entrancing as the last one, probably cause the venue was 4x bigger and people were filming and singing along this time

Simon H., Wednesday, 25 October 2017 04:59 (four weeks ago) Permalink

sounds p cool!

niels, Wednesday, 25 October 2017 05:59 (four weeks ago) Permalink

I also picked up the new album at the show and it's very good but tbh I'm just not sure about her move to the piano. She's an incredible guitarist but a fairly plain pianist and it turns the piano-based songs into blunter, less expressive things.

Simon H., Wednesday, 25 October 2017 12:14 (four weeks ago) Permalink

1:49 in Shadowboxing - shivers

Mordy, Thursday, 26 October 2017 19:09 (four weeks ago) Permalink

i'm listening to this right now. if i can find someone to go w/ me i'm gonna see her sunday.

Mordy, Thursday, 26 October 2017 19:10 (four weeks ago) Permalink

The new one's really good. "Sour Breath" is the one I keep repeating whenever it comes on.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Friday, 27 October 2017 16:39 (three weeks ago) Permalink

She's a terrific lyricist, too -- the territory she covers could veer into maudlin or self-indulgent really easily, but her metaphors are vivid and honest.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Friday, 27 October 2017 16:41 (three weeks ago) Permalink

and relatable, I think ... she sings about universal things in a way that feels not just personal, but tangible

alpine static, Friday, 27 October 2017 17:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think my *slight* disappointment with the album stems from how much I loved the "Funeral Pyre"/"Distant Solar Systems" single. The album feels a bit broader and safer by comparison

Simon H., Friday, 27 October 2017 17:58 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Yeah, that single is very intimate. Reminds me of Elliot Smith's earlier stuff. But I also like the sweep of the new one, it's kind of like bedroom stadium-rock.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Friday, 27 October 2017 18:17 (three weeks ago) Permalink

hurt less, my god

she is so powerful

niels, Sunday, 29 October 2017 09:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I don't get the hype, and i tried. I thhink it might be the dramatic singing style

nostormo, Sunday, 29 October 2017 20:36 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"Sour Breath" is still my fav, but man that closer.

Evan R, Monday, 30 October 2017 19:21 (three weeks ago) Permalink

this album is fine. idk why i am particularly unable to connect with it. i was sorta hoping the expanded arrangements would include drums

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 16:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

"hurt less" is v good

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 16:14 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Tried listening to this album today. It sounds like it was commissioned by a music supervisor at Hulu. Maybe the most faceless thing I've heard all year. Genuinely baffled by the appeal of stuff like this - or at least baffled how people can tell this sad-girl-with-guitar from the six dozen others who sound exactly like her who also put out albums this month.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:26 (three weeks ago) Permalink

ah

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:32 (three weeks ago) Permalink

imo she has a very distinctive sound but if you describe female singer-songwriters as "sad-girl-with-guitar" it could be this isn't a genre that you're really giving a fair chance

Mordy, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:34 (three weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i think it's pretty apparent why she sticks out—the austerity of her arrangements, her songwriting approach sort of finding the middle between emo and, like, songs: ohia

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

I think you hit on why I'm a bit lukewarm on the record, brad. The expanded arrangements work to make the songs more homogenous and less impactful than the debut. it's easy to forget she's still very early in her career and figuring out what works.

Simon H., Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

lol thank you for deriving that extremely good point from my not particularly good post. yeah i think that's about right

ToddBonzalez (BradNelson), Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

xp I don't know any other artists writing the way she does and she has a very distinctive vocal and sound

her personality and story are also interesting and probably a part of the package

I believe "Hurt Less" is the first song of 2017 to make me cry

niels, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 17:42 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Genuinely baffled by the appeal of stuff like this - or at least baffled how people can tell this sad-girl-with-guitar from the six dozen others who sound exactly like her who also put out albums this month.

woof

Evan R, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:24 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Anyway, this record was never going to hit like the debut did but it pretty clearly succeeds in what it sets out to do. I think to the extent that a few tracks fall flat for me (at least right now) it's just because the songwriting isn't as impeccable as it was on the debut. But there are still like five or six tracks on this thing that are right on par with Sprained Ankle, and that's pretty remarkable.

Elliott Smith comparisons really hold. It's the difference between Roman Candle and XO.

Evan R, Wednesday, 1 November 2017 18:29 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Tried listening to this album today. It sounds like it was commissioned by a music supervisor at Hulu. Maybe the most faceless thing I've heard all year. Genuinely baffled by the appeal of stuff like this - or at least baffled how people can tell this sad-girl-with-guitar from the six dozen others who sound exactly like her who also put out albums this month.

― grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, November 1, 2017 1:26 PM (yesterday) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is a horseshit opinion, not that i would expect much else

call all destroyer, Friday, 3 November 2017 02:49 (two weeks ago) Permalink

the six dozen others who sound exactly like her who also put out albums this month

name names! looks like i have some catch up listening to do.

monotony, Friday, 3 November 2017 05:27 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i'm doing a big EOY catch-up and would also love to know who these six dozen sad girls with guitars are

joshywinty (josh), Friday, 3 November 2017 05:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

so i can make time in my personal schedule for all of them

joshywinty (josh), Friday, 3 November 2017 05:36 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I honestly found reading that to be more emotionally bracing than listening to the album :(

for people who like JB I would recommend the most recent albums by Emma Ruth Rundle and Sarah Mary Chadwick

Simon H., Friday, 3 November 2017 09:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

I connected hard to a couple of the songs on her first album, but my first impression of this new album is actually that on the whole I like it better than the first. Beautiful melodies, lyrics still raw in the best ways.

abcfsk, Friday, 3 November 2017 09:32 (two weeks ago) Permalink

great interview, this woman is truly brilliant

and infinitely more knowledgeable than I was at 22

niels, Friday, 3 November 2017 10:20 (two weeks ago) Permalink


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