Music is a big, big, BIG part of my life. My first blog post was about Ed Sheeran (and if you haven’t read/listened to the song in that post, check it out, it was something I enjoyed writing). Now, being a big fan of music but also being a quiet, reserved, afraid to order pizza over the phone, shops at midnight to avoid lines, and can’t handle crowds or the public in general, I don’t often come off as such. I don’t go to concerts or talk to my co-workers about such things, but it’s those things that get me through the day, every day. So, I’ve decided to start a “new” blog dedicated to highlighting songs or artists that mean something special to me.
To kick things off I thought I’d share a new-ish artist, Julien Baker. I first discovered Julien Baker by listening to the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series (please check it out, it’s really a fantastic series. It’s setting makes each show feel personal, even though I’m not there in person to see it). Julien Baker has a powerful voice and a subtle touch on the guitar that makes it seem like it’s trying to surround your ears in feathers; it blocks out all other noise yet never comes off as being loud. Some of her ballads include piano pieces, which she also shows a very keen understanding of how to incorporate the sounds of low bass notes with simple melodies, so you feel the keys more than hear them.
But, the crux of Julien Bakers talent lays within her ability to write some of the most crushing, poetic, beautiful lyrics I have ever experienced. Her song’s flow, sprinting when called for but unafraid to completely stop, leaving your heart a few seconds reprieve and your brain the time it takes to understand everything she’s talking about. Because her music IS heart. It’s not just her heart, it’s every human heart. It connects the dots in your head, forming a clear picture of somebody we have all been; an insecure, well-intentioned, far to self-critical, messy, lovable human.
Julien Baker has become my favorite artist of the past few years and her most recent album, Turn out the Lights, gave me all of the feelings of her first album and then some. I highly recommend checking out her live videos on YouTube, such as her Tiny Desk concert I mentioned above, or her performance for Audiotree and Pasta Studios.
I’ll most likely be writing a deep-dive piece, similar to my Ed Sheeran Sunburn post, at some point in the near future, but in the mean time please enjoy the splendor that is Julien Baker.