Back in 2016, Julien Baker came into the Paste Studio to perform songs from her 2015 debut album Sprained Ankle, which Paste featured on our list of 100 Best Indie Folk Albums.
Paste contributor Roman Gokhman wrote of the Memphis singer/songwriter’s first LP, “Baker’s skill lies in her narrative songwriting, which pierces her experiences to the bone…Out came lyrics about wrapping a car around a streetlamp, having more whiskey than blood in her veins, time spent in ambulances, of an unbearable break-up with her girlfriend and facing mortality. These songs were more personal than her earlier efforts, and rather than take a poetic look at her misgivings, Baker is brutally honest about the ugliness she faced.”
Baker’s stripped-down, vulnerable songs are perfectly suited to an intimate setting like this. Her guitar playing is subtle and heartbreaking while her vocals take each song’s emotional angst to soaring new heights. Baker performed three crushingly beautiful tear-jerkers in Paste’s NYC studio—”Sprained Ankle,” “Something” and “Everybody Does.”
Paste was also complimentary of Baker’s 2017 follow-up album Turn Out The Lights, placing it in our 50 Best Albums of 2017 and featuring its title track on our list of 50 Best Title Tracks of All Time.
Watch Baker perform three tracks from Sprained Ankle in the Paste Studio below.