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Julien Baker Shares New Single 'Hardline'

Last week Julien performed the LP’s first single, 'Faith Healer,' on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.  

Julien Baker Shares New Single 'Hardline'

Julien Baker has shared a new taste of her forthcoming album Little Oblivions by way of a new single "Hardline" which she releases today. Julien says, "A few years ago I started collecting travel ephemera again with a loose idea of making a piece of art with it. I had been touring pretty consistently since 2015 and had been traveling so much that items like plane tickets and hotel keycards didn't have much novelty anymore. So I saved all my travel stuff and made a little collage of a house and a van out of it. I wanted to incorporate it into the record and when we were brainstorming ideas for videos we came across Joe Baughman and really liked his work so we reached out with the idea of making a stop-motion video that had similar aesthetic qualities as the house I built did. I don't know why I have the impulse to write songs or make tiny sculptures out of plane tickets. But here it is anyway: a bunch of things I've collected and carried with me that I've re-organized into a new shape."

The video for "Hardline" was directed by "Joe Baughman" who notes, "even after having spent 600 hours immersed in 'Hardline' and having listened to it thousands of times, I am still moved by it. It was a fun and ambitious challenge creating something that could accompany such a compelling song. The style of the set design, inspired by a sculpture that Julien created, was especially fun to work in. I loved sifting through magazines, maps, and newspapers from the 60s and 70s and finding the right colors, shapes, and quotes to cover almost every surface in the video."

Stream/download "Hardline" here. Pre-order Little Oblivions here.

At 10am EST today, listeners can tune in to hear Julien's KEXP session via the station's YouTube page. She performs "Hardline" as well as other tracks off Little Oblivions. The session also features an interview with Cheryl Waters.

Little Oblivions will be released on February 26 via Matador Records. The New York Times included it in their "11 Things To Look Forward to In 2021," column noting "How does a songwriter hold on to honest vulnerability as her audience grows....she scales her music up to larger spaces, backed by a full rock band with ringing guitars and forceful drums. But she doesn't hide behind them; she's still ruthless and unsparing, particularly about herself." Rolling Stone said "Little Oblivions' is not only the most richly produced, pop-aware release of Baker's career, but also her the most unsparingly honest in its messiness" and Variety stated "While the basics of her autobiographical and cathartic songwriting style remain the same, the arrangements are far more fleshed out with multiple instruments, nearly all of which are played by Baker herself. Without pushing an obvious comparison too far, what Bridgers' 'Punisher' was to 2020, 'Little Oblivions' is very likely to be to 2021."

Last week Julien Baker performed the LP's first single, "Faith Healer," on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Filmed in Nashville, TN, Baker is backed by a full band, exemplifying the expansive sound that can be heard on the forthcoming album. Stereogum labeled the performance "stunning" while Rolling Stone noted, "Baker and her backing band moved through the expansive track and built steadily toward its final booming chorus. 'Oh, faith healer,' come put your hands all over me,' Baker sings, pushing her voice to its stunning upper limits." Calling Baker "one of the most powerful vocalists in all of music," Uproxx labeled the performance a "powerhouse" - watch it here.

"Faith Healer" introduced the exhilarating, widescreen musical palette and infectious spirit of risk-taking found on Little Oblivions, a transformative sonic shift from Baker's more spare and intimate previous work. Engineered by Calvin Lauber and mixed by Craig Silvey (The National, Florence & the Machine, Arcade Fire), both of whom worked with Baker on 2017's Turn Out the Lights, the album was recorded in Baker's hometown of Memphis, Tennessee between December 2019 and January 2020. Baker's tactile guitar and piano playing are enriched with newfound textures encompassing bass, drums, synthesizers, banjo and mandolin, with nearly all of the instruments performed by Baker. The album weaves unflinching autobiography with assimilated experience and often hard-won observations from the past few years, taking Baker's capacity for starkly galvanising storytelling to breathtaking new heights.

In October the news of Little Oblivions upcoming release was a top 20 trending topic on Twitter and four special editions of the album (via Vinyl Me Please, Magnolia Record Club, 6131, and Spotify) sold out almost instantaneously. Preorders are upwards of 6000 units and to date "Faith Healer" has amassed over 2 million streams.

Listen to the new single here:



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