Album Review: Julien Baker - 'Turn Out The Lights'

'Sprained Ankle' was one our favorite albums of 2015, Julien Baker was just eighteen then, and recorded the album with a friend in a few days. It was beautifully basic and brutally honest when it came to her voice and intimate story telling.

Skip along three years, Julien Baker is now twenty one and is about to release her new album 'Turn Out The Lights', which sees her push to a bigger stage. Where 'Sprained Ankle' was so stripped, the new album sees Julien expand more with her sound, bringing in strings and woodwinds for some tracks.

The album was recorded and mixed by Craig Silver (The National, Arcade Fire, Florence and the Machine) at Ardent Studios in her hometown. With her first album being so basic in it's production, I was worried the new material would lose it's depth, but she kept herself as producer and sole-song writer, so the new album is able to expand while also holding onto everything we love about her.

A lot of stuff happened in my life that was rapid change, and it felt like it could not get any worse,” Baker says of “Appointments.” “I was like, I have reached critical mass for this amoeba of sadness and it cannot possibly turn out all right. But for the sake of my continuing to exist, I have to believe that it will.

We have already had a taster with tracks like 'Appointments', and you can feel the suffering and pain as it is belted out in that beautiful voice of her's.

I think I speak for many people here, when I say 'Sprained Ankle' means a lot to me and managed to express things in such a way that I felt she was a part of me. 'Turn Out The Lights' equally does this but on a wider spectrum where it kind of tells me I am going to get through it regardless.

This album, 'Turn Out The Lights' is hard to express into words, but it is everything I hoped it would be, if not more. It expresses everything I feel without having to say a word. She not only opens doors to herself but also for her fans, as we are all on her level, when it comes to this journey of painful realism.

Review by Ant Adams