Friday, 23 March 2018

Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

This album opens with creaking floorboards as the artist approaches and ends with the closing of a piano lid to signify a conclusion. It is something that very much is of a piece and hard to separate and pick out songs from the atmosphere that has been created. The opening Over Appointments encapsulates the mood, of the internal battles that rage inside – ‘Maybe it’s all gonna turn out alright And I know that it’s not, but I have to believe that it is’
If this sounds very morose, depressing and more than a little self absorbed – well perhaps it is but god it’s like a cathartic wave crashing over you, hitting you hard and leaving you beached and alone. I saw Julien supporting Belle & Sebastian, knowing nothing beforehand and was captivated by his lyrics and the simple fragility of her playing. For me this album is as moving and intimate as others I hold close like Eels ‘Electro Shock Blues’ where a painful naked honesty is at work.
I’m not sure how it reflects on me that I identify so much with the feelings of a 21 year old gay Christian woman from Memphis but so many of the thoughts expressed here are ones that have occurred to me at 3am or jar me at odd moments during the day when I am trying to forget the bad stuff. You will notice how many times I have used “me” and “I” in this review and it is because it really has got under my skin and echoes through my bones.
So you wish you could find some way to help
Don’t 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
The music we hold most dear is often that which mirrors our own feelings and experiences, the artists that that give you inspiration and open up a closing door and give voice to emotions we find hard or cannot share. This album chimes with me more than perhaps it would with a more comfortable or level headed person but there are basic human truths that we all share

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