Julien Baker returns with lush soul-wrenching new song “Appointments” off forthcoming album Turn Out The Lights

Singer/songwriter Julien Baker has unveiled the first single “Appointments” off her upcoming sophomore album Turn Out The Lights, the follow-up to her groundbreaking debut Sprained Ankle. Continuing the thread of viscerally confessional songwriting that she’s become renowned for, “Appointments” trades the nakedness of her acoustic guitar plucks for a glowing guitar melody, one that trickles down in the background behind her ethereal lulls and an alluring piano crescendo. Toss in a layering of Baker’s vocals over one another and the song is probably one of the most sonically lush compositions in her discography. Her first album Sprained Ankle was a lesson in bare bones singing/songwriting, relying on Baker’s words to deliver the bulk of emotional weight–which, to anyone who’s listened to it or seen it live, hit like a freight train with space shuttle rockets for wheels. If “Appointments” is anything to go by, Turn Out The Lights is going to see Baker expand her soundscapes to fit the colossal poignancy of her songwriting–but still restrained, emotionally and auditorily, like in that half-clenched way she sings live, almost through her teeth, because when she really opens her mouth to howl, my god does quiet in the world around you.

There are more than a few moments like this on “Appointments,” a song in which like previous ones, Baker minces no words to paint in the most intimate of ways the darkest parts of a relationship being unraveled by mental illness. Poetic in more ways than one, through just a few choice lines the song excavates all that pain, depression, insecurity, and anxieties, transforming something so vividly personal into one sadly universal. The song climaxes in a chorus comprised of Baker’s layered vocal lines in which all those emotions rapturously break through to an exasperated desire and plea for hope that Baker herself doesn’t truly seem to even believe in

“Oh, it’s not for my benefit / Maybe it’s all gonna turn out alright / Oh, I know that it’s not, but I have to believe that it is,” she laments, not in bold defiance against the things she’s facing, but in a resigned and deflated kind of faith that things will get better. Musically gorgeous and lyrically heartbreaking, Baker’s songwriting continues to wow with its delicate portrayal of the way she and those around her wrestle and cope with their personal strifes–weaving in a deeply empathetic nature into her songs that is so desperately needed.

Listen to Julien Baker’s newest single “Appointments” below.

Julien Baker will be departing on a massive headlining tour of North America this Fall, following a slew of dates opening for Belle & Sebastian and Ben Folds, with a stop at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles on December 14. Her second album Turn Out The Lights is out October 27 via Matador Records and can be pre-ordered here. Visit her website and Facebook to stay updated on future releases and tour announcements.

Julien Baker tour dates:

08/17 Louisville, KY @ Iroquois Amphitheater*

08/26 Davenport, IA @ Adler Theatre#

09/20 Chicago, IL @ Amnesty International & Sofar Sounds Give A Home show

09/21 Champaign, IL @ The Pygmalion Festival 2017

10/12 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade +

10/13 Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom +

10/14 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle +

10/15 Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater +

10/17 Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club +

10/18 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Smalls Theatre +

10/20 Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre +

10/25 Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount +

10/27 New York, NY @ Town Hall +

10/28 Somerville, MA @ Somerville Theatre +

10/29 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer +

11/03 The Hague, NL @ Crossing Border Festival

11/04 Utrecht, NL @ Ekko

11/06 Bristol, UK @ The Lantern

11/07 Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club

11/08 Glasgow, UK @ CCA

11/09 Dublin, IE @ Whelans

11/10 London, UK @ Union Chapel (SOLD OUT)

11/12 Brussels, BE @ Autumn Falls

11/14 Berlin, DE @ Heimathafen Neukolln

11/15 Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefahrlich

11/16 Düsseldorf, DE @ New Fall Festival

11/17 Madrid, ES @ El Sol

11/18 Braga, PT @ Theatro Circo

11/19 Barcelona, ES @ La De Apolo

11/29 Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre

11/30 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works

12/01 Memphis, TN @ 1884 Lounge

12/02 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall +

12/07 Spokane, WA @ The Bartlett +

12/08 Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre +

12/09 Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre +

12/10 Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater +

12/12 San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore +

12/14 Los Angeles, CA @ Palace Theatre +

12/15 San Diego, CA @ The Irenic +

12/16 Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom +

12/18 Austin, TX @ Emo’s +

12/19 Houston, TX @ The Heights Theater +

12/20 Dallas, TX @ The Kessler Theater +

* supporting Belle & Sebastian

# supporting Ben Folds

+ Half Waif supports

Turn Out The Lights track listing:

  1. Over
  2. Appointments
  3. Turn Out The Lights
  4. Shadowboxing
  5. Sour Breath
  6. Televangelist
  7. Everything That Helps You Sleep
  8. Happy To Be Here
  9. Hurt Less
  10. Even
  11. Claws In Your Back

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