Thursday, 12 October 2017

New Music: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights (Video)

Here’s a video that came out yesterday from Julien Baker and immediately appeared on all the big music sites like Pitchfork, Stereogum, The Fader etc. Yet it’s a tune weighted with so much emotional power and finesse that I felt compelled to put it on my small scale old school personal music blog, albeit a day later.


It’s because of a moment. 

That moment, two and a half minutes in, has the same effect as THAT crescendo moment in Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars (at around 2:50 for anyone wanting to compare the similarity). Now of course music snobs will shudder at the mention of Snow Patrol, but bear with me, because emotions are an individual and personal thing, and both the Snow Patrol song and this song pulled at my same heartstrings. Radiohead’s Creep does it as well as it launches into the chorus. 

It’s that surge of power. It touches on something raw and primal. It stops you in your tracks. Here although 'the moment' is clearly full of angst and a certain sadness, it sounds so vitally from the soul that it becomes oddly uplifting. It does one of the things that many of the best sad songs do – however heavy and downfallen they might be lyrically they have the power to make the listener feel alive. 

Starting from simple beginnings (I’m not sure if the lyrics about a hole in the wall not being fixed are a deep metaphor for something or quite simply a reflection of Julien’s lack of DIY skills, in which case she needs to get a builder in. More likely they're a reflection of her state of mind and not being able to get round to doing things.) Turn Out The Lights soon dives in deep: “Can you help me, I just wanted to go to sleep?” she sings softly before that cathartic wail kicks in. “When I turn out the lights.”

Raw. Brutal. Intense. 


Turn Out The Lights is taken from a forthcoming album of the same name, was recorded at Ardent Studios in Baker's hometown of Memphis and is the follow up to her much acclaimed record Sprained Ankle

Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

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