Julien Baker, tearing out our hearts once again.
Following up 2017’s emotionally harrowing and masterfully personal second LP, ‘Turn Out The Lights‘, Julien Baker has digitally released two new tracks, ‘Red Door‘ and ‘Conversation Piece‘. Both culled from her Record Store Day 7″ release earlier this year, this pair of singles find the deftly honest 23-year-old American singer-songwriter turning over a new leaf of sorts: emboldening her yearning, lonesome songs with more instrumental elements to take things even further. It’s also just wonderful to have new material from Julien Baker since her joint-collab with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus for boygenius.
First off, the cavernous ‘Red Door‘ blends electric and acoustic-guitar picked figures over one another with fluttering snares and reverberant kick drums keeping time under her soulful vocals, as she deals with anger issues and self-destruction, decrying “I wanna let you break me” come the outro. It’s a slight shift in texture and arrangement than what Julien normally does – the guitars, pianos and vocals are in the same space, but there’s also heaps more low-end found in the mix – and it’s a new take that’s really quite refreshing to hear. ‘Red Door‘ has actually been apart of her live shows for a few years now, and has floated around online as a less-produced demo, now it’s been touched up with a beautiful new face lift that brings the track to full life.
On the other side, ‘Conversation Piece‘ is much more ethereal, with light, minimal drums backing up Julien’s honest out-pourings alongside eerie walls of dark guitars and soft droplets of keys and strings. This larger second number is all about feeling invisible and having a deeper inner fight with the self; Julien talking about coming back as “a better version of myself“, and how if she had it her way, she “would be a ghost.” As she so bluntly puts it to us in the song’s final lyric: “So do you think when I die I’d get a second try? To do everything right I couldn’t the first time?“. Damn, just @ me next time, Julien.
Julien Baker sadly had to cancel her 2019 Australian tour due to unforeseen personal matters, but we do hope to see her back out here when she’s all well rested and better ready. Check out both of her new gems in the form of ‘Red Door‘ and ‘Conversation Piece‘ below: