ARTIST OF THE MONTH: JULIEN BAKER

The first time I heard Julien Baker, it felt like someone ripped my heart out of my chest.

“I rejoice and complain.  Lift my voice.”

Her words are like a tiny knife across your heart and before you know it, Sprainked Ankle is telling too many stories that resonate with you and your broken soul.

Julien hails from Murfreesboro, Tennessee where she played in the Memphis based band, Forrister.

Baker finds herself in good company when she declares, “Wish I could write songs about anything other than death.”  Death, love, heart break, despair, awakenings, God, these are all things that Julien Baker touches on in her songs and in a way it makes you feel a little less alone.

This record possesses all of the things that I love musically rolled into one.  Elements of Folk, Country, Soul, Gospel all combined  with her haunting lyrics create songs that are filled with pain and beauty. Her voice at times fades and then soars with a chilling raspiness on moments that you would least expect it.  Each song becomes an unexpected emotional journey.

“I can’t think of anyone, anyone else,” she howls on “Something,” and I believe every word of it.

“I just left the park, you like swallowed me up
Choking you times, and kicking up dust
Asking aloud why you’re leaving
But the pavement won’t answer me
I just let the silence swallow me up
The ring in my ears tastes like blood
Asking aloud why you’re leaving
But the pavement won’t answer me”.

Julien Baker

I can’t wait to see what is next for this powerful lady. Regardless of where her music goes from here, this record is a testimony to Julien Baker’s artistry and talent.

Sprained Ankle is out now on 6131 Records.