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Julien Baker Shares New Single & Lyric Video 'Heatwave'

This Friday, NPR Music will host a listening party event at 2PM EST via their NPR Music YouTube.

Julien Baker Shares New Single & Lyric Video 'Heatwave'

Today, Julien Baker shares "Heatwave," a single from her album Little Oblivions, out this Friday, February 26th. Watch the lyric video for "Heatwave" here. The track follows up Baker's previously released singles, "Hardline," "Faith Healer" and "Favor" which features boygenius collaborators Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. Fans can pre-order Little Oblivions here.

"Maybe it's a trite or well-trod topic, but 'Heatwave' is really just about being confronted with how much time I spend worrying about things that are trivial. I was stuck in traffic because a car had randomly combusted, and it made me feel so stupid for being concerned with the things I had been anxious about earlier that day. It was just such a poignant thing, an event that communicated a lot of complex things in a single image. So I wrote a song about it. I know I'm not the first person to witness an atrocity and consider my own mortality or life's fragility because of it, but that truly was my experience. Theoretically the lesson or symbolism to be interpreted there is that life is precious and it's not worth it to give your time and energy to negative thoughts, but jesus, how could you be a person alive on earth right now and not have negative thoughts? It's certainly less romantic to say that the consideration of life's fragility made me feel relieved at my own inconsequence, but it's true; it is comforting to think of the minuscule role everyone plays in the human drama, to realize we have more choice about what we give power over us than we maybe thought."

This Friday, NPR Music will host a listening party event at 2PM EST via their NPR Music YouTube featuring Julien Baker and special guests Mackenzie Scott (aka Torres) and journalist Jewly Hight in a discussion about the album. She also recently announced her first streamed concert in support of the album, taking place on March 25th. The fully-produced streaming concert will be broadcast from Nashville's Analog (at Hutton Hotel) via STAGED, Audiotree's acclaimed virtual concert series. Three screenings will air on March 25 to ensure fans worldwide can tune in during prime time. Screening times are 8pm AEDT, 7pm GMT, and 9pm EDT. Tickets start at $15 and are available exclusively at https://audiotree.tv/stream/julien-baker.

The New York Times included Little Oblivions 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."

Julien Baker performed, "Faith Healer," on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert last month. 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 galvanizing storytelling to breathtaking new heights.

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

Watch the video here:

Photo Credit: Alysse Gafkjen


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