All three of our beloved boygenius girls are gearing up to play their biggest Philadelphia shows yet… Up first is Julien Baker, the youngest and emo-ist of the trio, who will be headlining Franklin Music Hall on September 15th (Phoebe Bridgers will be at the Skyline Stage at the Mann on September 22nd and Lucy Dacus is doing two nights at Union Transfer, October 20th and 21st.) Baker is touring behind her third LP, Little Oblivions, which was released courtesy of Matador Records this February. The album has achieved a plethora of critical acclaim (The New Yorker called it, “Unruly, complex, and gorgeous,” while Teen Vogue said, “2020 needed more Julien Baker in it, and the emotive singer-songwriter came through.”) and also features, arguably, her best song, “Song in E,” a mopey folk ballad about an ex, whose existential profundity reaches gospel status.
Julien Baker kicks off her US tour this Friday, September 3rd, in Birmingham, Alabama and this Wednesday, September 1st, she will release the Little Oblivions Remixes EP, featuring five remixes of album tracks from artists hand-picked by Baker: Half Waif, Helios, Gordi, Jesu, and Thao (who will be support Baker at the Facto… err, Franklin Music Hall). The first week (and more) of the tour is already sold out. However, there are still some tickets remaining for her stop at Franklin Music Hall. In hopes of getting you excited and giving you that extra nudge to buy tickets before they’re gone, here are Julien Baker’s LPs and EPs ranked (excluding Little Oblivions Remixes).
5. Spotify Sessions 6131 (2016)
Believe it or not, I’m actually grateful that live EPs are making a comeback, even when they are in-studio and digital-only… This is a collection of four especially cozy songs from Baker’s debut that warm a giddy audience in the middle of a snowstorm.
4. Audiotree Live Audiotree Music (2015)
Okay, so this is similar to the last one, but includes two different musical tales of Baker’s most intimate troubles…
3. Sprained Ankle 6131 (2015)
Originally released independently as an EP, Julien Baker’s first proper album established the minimalist, moody aesthetic that earned her the role of emotional gatekeeper for tens of thousands of teens, wisened and experienced beyond their years, in addition to possibly the truest folk singer of her generation.
2. Little Oblivions Matador (2021)
On her third LP, Baker takes on a full rock band for her most varied effort yet, although the newfound size of her sound takes none of the potency away from the sting of her sagas of ongoing battles with her head, heart, and faith.
1. Turn Out the Lights Matador (2017)
It’s probably not a coincidence that Julien Baker’s best album yet is also that whose title best summarizes her sound. On her second album, the singer/songwriter dives further into the bleakness of her introspection, landing her into pleasing depths of slowcore and classic alt rock in general.