Thursday 4 July 2019
Simple, hymnal songs of a turbulent soul. Might make you shed a tear.

Songs of sexuality. Songs of self-doubt. Songs of isolation. Julien Baker has never been afraid to tackle the big issues. Her songs are often sombre, reflective affairs that will suck you right in.

At 23 years old, Baker is already one of the most acclaimed new singer-songwriters of recent years. Her 2017 single “Claws in Your Back” was feted by The New York Times as one of the 25 songs “that tell us where music is going”, and the album it came from, Turn Out the Lights, was a fixture in numerous ‘best of the year’ lists. A couple of years before that, she released her debut album Sprained Ankle which is no less breathtaking.

Julien Baker also plays as part of boygenius, an alternative supergroup consisting of herself, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus (the latter is also playing Roskilde Festival 2019).

The Nashville-based musician builds a song using simple means. It rests mostly on a harmonic, looped guitar riff and Baker's unflinching honesty. Her tunes invoke entire worlds and traffic in intimacy in their search for a human truth. 

And when Julien Baker plays live her tales of sorrow gorgeously fills any room she plays in. She steps onstage and cracks herself open along the fault lines left over from trauma, and something bright and powerful beams from among the wreckage.

Julien Baker is often seen tapping her toes on a pedal board, triggering loop pedals and regularly balancing playing guitar and piano during the same song. There’s sheer beauty inside her songs and her flexible, flooring voice. If she makes you shed a tear during her Roskilde Festival 2019 concert, don’t hold it against her.