Something subtle but incredibly important happens at the end of the first track on Julien Baker’s achingly perfect new album, Turn Out the Lights.
“Over” begins with the sound of a door closing, that giving way to mournful strings and sadder-than-November piano. But just when you’re ready to drain the bottle of Jack, Baker quietly brightens, shifting tempo as “Over” melts into “Appointments”, an incandescent ballad that’s beautiful despite lines like “I’m staying in tonight/I won’t stop you from leaving/I know that I’m not what you wanted.”
Over the next nine atmospheric tracks the Memphis-spawned singer-songwriter throws a sonic lifeline to anyone who has ever felt lost, alone, and desperately down.
Baker—who plays the Rickshaw on Saturday (December 9)—is currently being pegged as an artist on the cusp of something big. If you missed Sharon Van Etten, Cat Power, and Angel Olsen on the way up, this might be your official chance to atone.