Julien Baker’s debut LP ‘Sprained Ankle’ was an astonishingly fragile collection, with the Nashville singer’s voice feeling like it could snap at any second. The tales of religion, depression and heartbreak were simply stunning though, making her, in a lot of instances, your favourite singer’s favourite singer (Jesse Lacey covered the album’s title track at a batch of Brand New gigs last year).
‘Appointments’ is the first single from its follow-up ‘Turn Out The Lights’, and while it doesn’t lighten the mood from ‘Sprained Ankle’, it presents a more confident, controlled songwriter.
Though still tackling self-loathing and depression, Baker feels in complete control, convinced that her songs are resonating with thousands of others like here. She’s right.
A crippling final line - “Maybe it’s all gonna turn out all right / And I know that it’s not / But I have to believe that it is” - serves as Julien Baker’s mission statement, and even if there’s only scraps of hope to be found in these places, there’s a brilliant catharsis gained from laying out such pains, both for artist and listener.