Julien Baker

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Julien Baker
Julien Baker by Sachyn Mital.jpg
Baker performing at Rough Trade NYC in 2016
Background information
Birth name Julien Rose Baker
Born (1995-09-29) September 29, 1995 (age 22)
Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • Vocals
  • electric guitar
  • piano
  • organ
  • mandolin
Years active 2014–present
Labels Matador
Associated acts Forrister, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus
Website julienbaker.com

Julien Rose Baker (born 1995) is an American singer and guitarist from Memphis, Tennessee, United States. She is a member of the alternative rock band Forrister, formerly known as The Star Killers.[1] She released her first solo studio album, Sprained Ankle, on 6131 Records in 2015, and her second solo full length album, Turn Out the Lights, on Matador Records in 2017. In 2018, she cofounded the "supergroup" boygenius.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Born on September 29, 1995,[3] Baker was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee.[4] She learned to play on her father's guitar.[5][6] She attended Middle Tennessee State University[3] where she studied audio engineering and later majoring in literature with a double minor in Spanish and secondary education before leaving school in order to tour full-time.[7] Baker identifies as queer and Christian.[7][8][9]



Baker has met critical acclaim for her performance and songwriting, described as emotively cathartic, as well as a fresh take on folk music.[10] Her album Sprained Ankle has been described as featuring pared-back fragile songs, while Turn Out the Lights features more developed song structures while retaining the raw emotion of its predecessor.[by whom?]


Julien Baker performing at The National's Homecoming festival in Cincinnati, in april 2018.

In 2010, Baker cofounded a band called The Star Killers, which renamed itself Forrister in 2015.[11][12][13] During her freshman year at MTSU, Baker began writing songs on her own, often in the university practice rooms late at night.[14][6] With a friend, Michael Hegner, she recorded an EP at Spacebomb Studios, which she self-released in the winter of 2014 on Bandcamp[15] which became the studio album Sprained Ankle, in October 2015.[13] Sprained Ankle topped many 2015 end-of-the-year lists and its success led to features in The New Yorker and The New York Times.[16][17]

On March 7, 2016, she performed on an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert.[18] During that set she referenced a new song called Sad Song #11 which was later titled "Funeral Pyre" and released with "Distant Solar Systems" as the B-side.[19] Baker contributed a song titled "Decorated Lawns" to the Punk Talks winter compilation called Jingle Yay which released December 1, 2016.[20]

Baker has opened for bands including Death Cab for Cutie, Conor Oberst, The Decemberists, Belle & Sebastian, and Paramore. In 2017 she signed to Matador Records,[21] releasing a 7" of the songs "Funeral Pyre" and "Distant Solar Systems". An LP, Turn Out the Lights, recorded at Tennessee's Ardent Studios with help from Sorority Noise's Cameron Boucher, was released on October 27, 2017.

On October 28, 2017, Baker made her national television debut on CBS This Morning and on January 3, 2018, she made her late night debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

In 2018, Baker along with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus formed the "supergroup" boygenius. They released three songs in August 2018 and subsequently announced an EP and a tour.[22] Baker and Bridgers had formerly performed on stage together at various concerts.


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • AudioTree Live (2016, AudioTree)[23]


  • "Funeral Pyre" (January 6, 2017)[19]
  • "Distant Solar Systems" (March 17, 2017)


  1. ^ "Choked Up, by Forrister". Forrister.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  2. ^ https://www.npr.org/2018/08/21/639528019/hear-new-music-from-phoebe-bridgers-julien-baker-lucy-dacus-supergroup-boygenius
  3. ^ a b Townsend, Eileen (October 22, 2015). "Julien Baker Arrives". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Julien Baker on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  5. ^ Nordstrom, Leigh (August 11, 2015). "Singer-Songwriter Julien Baker Hits New York". WWD. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Claymore, Gabriela Tully (October 26, 2015). "Read An Interview With Young Phenom Julien Baker And Watch Her "Sprained Ankle" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Fenwick, George (July 20, 2017). "Julien Baker on queerness, the power of music and making people cry". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  8. ^ Syme, Rachel (April 29, 2016). "Julien Baker Believes in God". The New Yorker. Retrieved July 26, 2017. 
  9. ^ Tolentino, Jia (October 27, 2017). "The Raw Devotion of Julien Baker". The New Yorker. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 
  10. ^ Cohen, Ian (5 November 2015). "Julien Baker - Sprained Ankle". Pitchfork. Retrieved 27 January 2018. 
  11. ^ "Forrister - Forrister". Tumblr. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  12. ^ Ladd, Olivia (February 23, 2015). "From Memphis to Murfreesboro: Musician Julien Baker Shares Her Passion". Sidelines. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Chiu, David (December 9, 2015). "Julien Baker's 'Real Life' Music Tugs at the Heartstrings". PopMatters. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  14. ^ Gokhman, Roman (December 1, 2015). "Julien Baker: The Best of What's Next". Paste Magazine. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  15. ^ Mook, Aaron (November 11, 2015). "Julien Baker - 11/10/15". Chorus.fm (formerly AbsolutePunk.net). Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ Syme, Rachel (April 29, 2016). "Julien Baker believes in god". The New Yorker. 
  17. ^ Williams, John (April 26, 2016). "Julien Baker: Sad songs that whisper and howl". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ NPR Music (7 March 2016). "Julien Baker: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert". YouTube. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  19. ^ a b "Funeral Pyre, by Julien Baker". Julienbaker.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  20. ^ "Julien Baker – "Decorated Lawns"". Stereogum.com. 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2017-09-08. 
  21. ^ "Matador Records". Matadorecords.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 
  22. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/8471478/boygenius-announces-ep-tour-new-songs
  23. ^ "Julien Baker - Audiotree Live, by Julien Baker". Julienbaker.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 27 October 2017. 

External links[edit]