NEWS: Julien Baker @ Head of Steam | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Jake Cunningham

Sometimes it’s difficult to believe that singer songwriter Julien Baker is only 20 years old, particularly as the Memphis native’s songs contain an emotional maturity that some veterans find hard to muster. Her life experience so far culminated last year in her debut album, Sprained Ankle, a sometimes agonising and gut-wrenching record that found the sweet spot between Bon Iver and Sharon van Etten.

Sprained Ankle saw Baker collating a beautiful array of deeply intimate and heartfelt songs that dealt with a variety of existential issues, from hope, despair and the notion of oblivion to life and death. A lot of death. Her penchant for the heaviest themes in life has seen her support everyone from post-hardcore band Touche Amore to Matt Berninger’s spin-off band EL VY; her sparse, intricate guitar playing and the close harmonies of her wounded, expressive voice sets Julien apart from her peers. Far from being the platitudes of an overly-emotional teenager, Baker’s meditations on what it’s really like to be alive will bring you to your knees.

Julien Baker plays at Head of Steam, Newcastle on Sunday 29th May.


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