Now aged 21, Julien Baker has already made somewhat of a name for herself in indie folk circles following the success of her full-length debut ‘Sprained Ankle’ aged 18. ‘Turn Out The Lights’ sees much of the same as Baker’s trademark twinkling guitar and haunting vocals are apparent from album opener ‘Appointments’, a confessional and intimate folk ballad.
There’s a distinct ethereal quality to Baker’s vocals and delicately plucked minor guitar chords that help to paint a raw and intimate portrait of young love and adolescence. Tracks like ‘Televangelist’ with its epic organ-flecked denouement and whimsical lyricism of ‘Happy to Be Here’ make for brilliantly delicate moments in a record that sits as light as a feather.
However, stretched over the course of a complete album, such little deviation from the well-worn song-structures can make for overly simplistic and almost tiresome listening. Which isn’t to detract from the carefully curated lyrics of ‘Turn Out The Lights’, a record bursting with artistic emotion and vulnerable resilience.
Words: Rory Marcham
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