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 (five 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 (five 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 (five years ago) link

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

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

yeeeees she's coming to Aarhus in May!

niels, Friday, 18 March 2016 11:30 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (eleven 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 (ten 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 (five 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 (five 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 (five 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 (four months 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 (four months ago) link

'hypnotizing' otm

mookieproof, Thursday, 10 December 2020 04:41 (four months 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 (four months 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 (four months 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 (four months 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 (four months 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.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 13 December 2020 14:31 (four months ago) link

xp

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

DJI, Monday, 14 December 2020 17:49 (four months ago) link

four weeks pass...

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

Number None, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:05 (three months 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 (three months ago) link

yeah i feel the same at the moment

Number None, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:16 (three months ago) link

also

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 16:24 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months 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 (three months ago) link

I like the song, but love the video.

brain (krakow), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 22:54 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

her previous work never really clicked with me but the new album is sounding good, really like her arrangements

ufo, Friday, 26 February 2021 01:35 (one month ago) link

her new work still is not clicking with me. I don't like the arrangements :(

stimmy stimmy yah (Simon H.), Friday, 26 February 2021 13:36 (one month ago) link

maybe it's just that her vox and lyrics are so big and intense on their own that even relatively small additions feel to me like a hat on a hat, just a giant stack of self-loathing hats

stimmy stimmy yah (Simon H.), Friday, 26 February 2021 13:50 (one month ago) link

I've had this on repeat in the background while I'm working, and at that level I like it but only a few songs have made me pause to see what their titles are. In general it sounds a lot like Turn Out the Lights, with the arrangements a natural progression from that album's fuller sound. I like her a lot, but also I think she's kind of a great sound in search of great songs. More songwriting collaborations would be good for her imo.

I think my other problem, and this might just be me, is that the lyrics tip over into a level of pain and self-loathing where I honestly just start to worry whether this level of public emotional exposure is healthy or even safe, especially since she seems to get more raw and specific with each release (and has grown in commercial stature with each one). like, I'm not in recovery but I have friends who are, and imagining them putting themselves "out there" to this extent makes my stomach churn

stimmy stimmy yah (Simon H.), Friday, 26 February 2021 18:33 (one month ago) link

Yeah, I admire her candor and also hope this is all catharsis rather than crisis.

Another song just registered for me. Maybe if I listen to it all weekend they'll differentiate themselves.

is it a pixies track that favor rips at the beginning?

ufo, Sunday, 28 February 2021 23:20 (one month ago) link

sounds a bit like "Gigantic" maybe

Number None, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 13:15 (one month ago) link

hmm i think that's why i thought of pixies but i think there's something else out there that's closer to it that isn't a pixies track i guess

ufo, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 13:22 (one month ago) link

"here comes your man"? that's the track that comes to mind, but only because i'm listening specifically for a pixies reference. having said that, i get more of a sebadoh vibe from those opening notes

willem, Wednesday, 3 March 2021 15:51 (one month ago) link

four weeks pass...

still not all the way into this album, but "Repeat" is pretty great. in a super grim way.


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