With my next favorite record of the year, we stay in Tennessee. From Nashville to Memphis in the meantime and 22 year old Julien Baker who has released her second album Turn Out The Lights.
Very intimate songs from a young woman examining herself and her weaknesses. Appointment is a song about someone breaking up from a relationship and trying to get over the pain. The break-up came either from drug abuse or, more likely, from depression. Baker has talked about the song with Pitchfork:
“The song is about the isolation of thinking that you’re incapable of communicating the emotions in your head while you’re also trying to exert the effort to be there for someone else, and to be what they want. Over the past years of getting to a healthier place, it’s been important for me to get rid of my really finite standard of normalcy and understand that maybe the bad and ugly things are part of me, but I don’t have to submit to them. And that the existence of anxiety or depression does not negate my own capacity for joy, or my intelligence. It’s really helpful to accept those bad things instead of trying to make it out to be some sort of Jekyll and Hyde dichotomy; when I can embrace those things, I can have power over them.”
The title track Turn Out The Lights is about the moment when you turn out the lights and are alone with yourself and it says that you have to rely on yourself in the end.
Say you wish you could find some way to help
Not to be so hard on myself
So why is it easy for everyone else?
I’m not always like this
There’s always tomorrow I guess
When I turn out the lights
There’s no one left
Between myself and me
It is a very raw, authentic and intimate record, Baker accompanies herself with piano or guitar and her lyrics are sharp, describing a state of someone who is definitely not ok, but she’s struggling to cope with her demons and in that sens the record might help people in a similar situation. And this is so intimate music that you really feel like Julien Baker is personally addressing every single listener. A very strong album from someone who is sometimes weak.
Living with demons I’ve mistaken for saints
If you keep it between us, I think they’re the same
I think I can love the sickness you made
‘Cause I take it all back, I change my mind
I wanted to stay, I wanted to stay
(Claws In Your Back)