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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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

Evan R, Monday, 9 November 2015 21:05 (five years ago) link

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)

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

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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

michaellambert, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 20:10 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

yeah it's her voice that tells the story usually

Evan R, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 21:43 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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

Evan R, Thursday, 3 December 2015 20:22 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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

alpine static, Monday, 21 December 2015 20:20 (five years ago) link

man this star killers record is amazing

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:41 (five years ago) link

like REALLY amazing

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Monday, 21 December 2015 20:58 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

I saw a post on Facebook about a London show.

NWOFHM! Overlord (krakow), Thursday, 14 January 2016 21:49 (five years ago) link

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

Evan R, Sunday, 24 January 2016 23:17 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

this album, my god

alpine static, Tuesday, 2 February 2016 18:19 (four years ago) link

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 (four years ago) link

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 (four years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxTjko70fBg

HYPERLINK TO RAP GENIUS (BradNelson), Thursday, 11 February 2016 05:14 (four years ago) link

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 (four years ago) link

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 (four years ago) link

yeeeees she's coming to Aarhus in May!

niels, Friday, 18 March 2016 11:30 (four years ago) link

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 (four years ago) link

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

michaellambert, Saturday, 19 March 2016 14:31 (four years ago) link

cool that they made Julien's vocals totally inaudible in that clip

Number None, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:35 (two years ago) link

nice! me & my dog is still my fave. (though they mixed julien super low in that performance, bummer)

also calling them a "supergroup" sometimes makes sense in press outlets that have covered the individual members before and given them lots of praise, but it's kind of weird to hear them referred to that on late night tv

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:35 (two years ago) link

xp!
yeah, i'm sure they listened back to it later and were a little :/

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:36 (two years ago) link

(not to focus too much on the mixing of a live performance but) maybe what happened was that julien's voice was a bit too high in the mix during rehearsal, so during performance the mixer turned her down AND she chose to sing further away from the mic in an attempt to fix it on her end, and it ended up with her pretty much at 0

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:39 (two years ago) link

re: the band name

“I felt the need then to qualify that we didn’t want to be in control in a mean or exclusionary way," Baker says. "But the thing about being a woman in the music industry is that you constantly feel the need to qualify yourself. We produced this record and all the players are female. It was important for us to show that there doesn’t have to be a man behind the scenes pulling the strings who is later accredited with the genius.”

Number None, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:41 (two years ago) link

lmao I can definitely imagine an unfamiliar sound guy assuming she'd have a small/meek vocal presence only to render half the audience deaf xp

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:41 (two years ago) link

xp cool, thanks!

niels, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:42 (two years ago) link

to be fair to the sound person, she definitely looks like she's belting it in that performance. maybe he/she overcompensated ... or maybe Karl Malone is right.

but yeah, a bit of a bummer there.

alpine static, Tuesday, 6 November 2018 19:58 (two years ago) link

caught 'em tonight - JB actually has become a much quieter singer, like to the point where she was generally the quietest of the three performers. my guess would be she's had some formal training and it's reigned her in a bit.

anyway, Dacus was fantastic and the group set was stunning. they (apparently for the first time) eschewed amplification for "Ketchum, ID" resulting in a startlingly warm singalong -- now that was something else

I just got home and someone has already put it up on YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NxC76FD45M

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Sunday, 11 November 2018 05:23 (two years ago) link

man they kick so much ass

beautiful video

something about julien's voice instantly pierces my heart

niels, Sunday, 11 November 2018 12:06 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

ok, this is a silly thing to revive with, but imagine boygenius covering the roches' "hammond song"

Karl Malone, Monday, 26 November 2018 06:07 (two years ago) link

hehe

that would be dope

niels, Monday, 26 November 2018 09:45 (two years ago) link

I saw them in Vancouver this past weekend and it was really good. It was a pretty sad but beautiful few hours. Very moving. Maybe the best show I've seen this year.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 26 November 2018 15:31 (two years ago) link

These shows look so great. I got tickets for The Tallest Man On Earth a long time ago so I’m going to miss the boygenius show tomorrow night. :(

DJI, Monday, 26 November 2018 17:51 (two years ago) link

Since this is the de facto Boygenius thread now, enjoy a Phoebe Bridgers Christmas song with Jackson Browne(!)

https://www.stereogum.com/2024160/phoebe-bridgers-christmas-song/music/

resident hack (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 November 2018 14:58 (two years ago) link

UM

princess of hell (BradNelson), Thursday, 29 November 2018 15:14 (two years ago) link

love everything about the story behind it, song's gorgeous too

McCarthy Trenching is singer-songwriter Dan McCarthy’s band. We played a show together in Omaha this last year. They named the band after the trenching company owned by Dan’s uncle so they could sell those t-shirts instead of having to make their own. The first time I heard this song it hit me like a ton of bricks. A lot of McCarthy Trenching songs do that. It’s not that often that I hear a Christmas song that doesn’t make me want to quit music. I played a show in L.A. around the holidays last year where I covered it for the first time. Jackson Browne was there, and he came up to me after the show to tell me how much he loved the song. A couple days later, Dan got a Bandcamp notification on his desktop computer that someone paid 50 bucks for his record and wrote a nice note and signed it Jackson Browne. He thought someone was fucking with him. So when I decided to record a version of the song, I knew who I wanted to sing on it. Plus, I have wanted to make music with Jackson as long as I’ve wanted to make music.

resident hack (Simon H.), Thursday, 29 November 2018 16:04 (two years ago) link

that is awesome!

I love jackson browne

I love this song

niels, Friday, 30 November 2018 10:48 (two years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrV4SFp5N0U

Cool that the guitar magazine bro seems to be a fan.

louise ck (milo z), Sunday, 2 December 2018 00:37 (two years ago) link

she really seems like the nicest person

and she does awesome things with her guitar

wild to imagine that future generations discovering julien baker will (probably) be able to find videos like this

wonder why it's unlisted

niels, Sunday, 2 December 2018 12:15 (two years ago) link

They keep them unlisted for the first week to push people to access it from their site.

louise ck (milo z), Sunday, 2 December 2018 19:39 (two years ago) link

aah, clever

niels, Sunday, 2 December 2018 20:59 (two years ago) link

https://media.npr.org/assets/img/2018/11/29/boygenius_cpollack_brick-02f55231f7ee6092d2ae7404589d9acb5525f594-s2000-c85.jpg
with love from Cameron Pollack/NPR

niels, Thursday, 6 December 2018 17:37 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

the boygenius ep is great. somehow i only discovered it now.

je est un autre, l'enfer c'est les autres (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 28 April 2019 08:05 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

somehow I only tried her music lately, and now I am head over heels, can barely listen to anything else. it's as though "Little Fury Bugs" is a genre and it warrants 10000x investigations, every angle must be pursued. my ankles are sprained.

Joey Corona (Euler), Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:00 (nine months ago) link

I've only heard Turn Out the Lights, did she cover that Death Cab song somewhere?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:06 (nine months ago) link

no, but "Appointments" for instance is a take on it, in the way that the lines of marble guide the sculpter's hand

Joey Corona (Euler), Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:09 (nine months ago) link

Oh! I see what you mean now, sorry, that makes sense. Now I have another reason to go back to "Appointments" though!

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Thursday, 16 April 2020 16:12 (nine months ago) link

one month passes...

the way she sings "marathon runner, my ankles are sprained", and in particular, the word "my" into the word "ankles", I could listen to that forever and ever and ever. I feel a terrible loss, or even a shame, there that I can't understand outside the singing. is shame supposed to be so beautiful?

Joey Corona (Euler), Saturday, 16 May 2020 16:06 (eight months ago) link

five months pass...

new shit!

https://youtu.be/bWAOkg2i6_g

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Wednesday, 21 October 2020 14:29 (three months ago) link

there is actual percussion! it sounds good! album is out in february.

it bangs for thee (Simon H.), Wednesday, 21 October 2020 14:32 (three months ago) link

Yeah I like that.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 21 October 2020 15:44 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Once again I fell into a loop of watching live performances of her and it’s so hypnotizing. Seeing her perform
is the definition of Sehnsucht for me.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 10 December 2020 04:11 (one month ago) link

I have only listened to Julien Baker a lil bit (mostly the boygenius record) but this is one of my favorite ILM thread titles

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Thursday, 10 December 2020 04:34 (one month ago) link

'hypnotizing' otm

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 December 2020 04:41 (one month ago) link

The boygenius record is probably the best thing she has been involved with. I don’t think I actually like listening to her lyrics or her records in a way that I enjoy let’s say, Phoebe Bridgers, but seeing her live performances is so enthralling to me because she seems to go somewhere else when doing so. The way she gets completely lost in it is not that common to see imho... it’s the small performances of her... I’ve seen videos of her with big audiences and I don’t think it works that well because she’s sounds more self-conscious.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 10 December 2020 15:40 (one month ago) link

I have the opposite problem. I can't get into any of Bridgers's solo stuff but I love Baker and Boygenius

Number None, Thursday, 10 December 2020 16:26 (one month ago) link

I've fallen down a couple of Baker YouTube wormholes recently. She's captivating on stage - lost in it and seemingly lacking in self-consciousness. I've been trying to find a non-weird way of saying 'it's her mouth' but there it is. That turn of the head she does. She's so good.

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Thursday, 10 December 2020 18:18 (one month ago) link

This sounds really interesting and I'd love to hear what any ilxors with musical nous might make of it.

"For the exciting Isolate/Create project, Julien Baker offers the stems for her new single “Faith Healer” from the forthcoming album ‘Little Oblivions’. These are supplied for the purpose of remixing and reinterpretation, hopefully offering some fodder for creativity during this challenging time."

https://www.isolatecreate.com/julien-baker/

brain (krakow), Sunday, 13 December 2020 12:55 (one month ago) link

I love Julien Baker, and at the same time I agree she's not (so far) as distinctive a songwriter as Phoebe Bridgers or Lucy Dacus. Or she's distinctive, but it all pretty much sounds like the same song (a good song, but still). That said, I like her whole sound and vibe enough that I don't really care. AND the one time I got to see her live was just incandescent, she's an amazing performer. Anyway, I like "Faith Healer" and I'll be happy to hear the new album. Hoping that she's maybe sharpened and varied her approach a bit.

xp

Cool! I may download those and try it. Any ideas for a remix/re-imagining?

DJI, Monday, 14 December 2020 17:49 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pGBIAiJPF4&

Number None, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:05 (two weeks ago) link

I want to love everything she does but I'm just not that wild about the sound of this record so far

stylish but illegal (Simon H.), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:10 (two weeks ago) link

yeah i feel the same at the moment

Number None, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:16 (two weeks ago) link

also

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:24 (two weeks ago) link

hm, i think this sounds awesome but i'm not sure i hear the song yet

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:41 (two weeks ago) link

record is self-produced! that's interesting! i was like is this dave fridmann

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:42 (two weeks ago) link

weird, I'm currently listening to the Apple Music Julien Baker Essentials playlist for the millionth time, did not know a new song was on the way today

All cars are bad (Euler), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:43 (two weeks ago) link

I like the song, but love the video.

brain (krakow), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 22:54 (two weeks ago) link


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