Sprained Ankle (album)

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Sprained Ankle
Sprained Ankle cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 23, 2015 (2015-10-23)
RecordedSpacebomb Studios, Richmond, Virginia
Label6131 Records
Julien Baker chronology
Sprained Ankle
Turn Out the Lights

Sprained Ankle is the debut album of American singer-songwriter Julien Baker. Originally self-released on Bandcamp as an EP, the album was re-released in October 2015 on 6131 Records.


The songs on Sprained Ankle were written by Baker while she was at MTSU.[clarification needed] She thought that they didn't "fit the vibe of Forrister" and didn't intend to release them as an album while writing.[1] Her friend, Michael Hegner, had free time at MTSU's studio and offered to record her songs. They made a demo, Hegner liked it, and they kept working together. In the summer of 2014,[2] they decided to take a road trip to Spacebomb Studios in Richmond, Virginia where Hegner was interning to record it.[1][3] In an interview with The Blue Indian, Baker said that "it was recorded really sparsely and efficiently to get the most out of the time there, which contributed to the way the songs come across."[4] The songs “Vessels” and “Brittle Boned” were later recorded by her friend, Toby Landers and added to the album.[2]

The record was first released as an EP on Bandcamp in the winter of 2014.[2][5] Its first cover art was designed by Baker and a friend. People started sharing the record, then Baker toured it and sold CDs.[6][7] 6131 Records liked her work and decided to sign her.[3] The record was taken down from Bandcamp on advice from Baker's label so it could be mastered and formally released.[7]


Sprained Ankle has been described by Stereogum as a "collection of humbly rendered folk songs".[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
Arizona Daily SunA+[9]
Consequence of SoundB[11]
Drowned in Sound8/10[12]

The mastered versions of the songs "Sprained Ankle" (title track), "Something", and "Brittle Boned" premiered in advance on NPR's All Songs Considered, Stereogum, and Nylon respectively.[15][16][17] Sprained Ankle was re-release in October 2015 through 6131 Records. The Sabyn Mayfield-directed music video for "Sprained Ankle" was released on October 26.[1] It charted on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums at number 25 for the week of November 14.[18]

Gabriela Tully Claymore from Stereogum wrote the songs were "unabashedly explicit, and Sprained Ankle discusses depression, substance abuse, and general crises of faith in detail."[1] On the guitar playing, Ian Cohen of Pitchfork wrote that "[Baker is] a minimalist, playing bassy clusters of melodic thirds, flicking silvery harmonics, [and] palm-muting chords."[14] It was recorded in a way that Adam Kevil from Consequence of Sound considers to be a simple format, "[Baker] alone, singing and playing acoustic guitar directly into the microphone, sometimes in a single take".[11]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Julien Baker.

2."Sprained Ankle"2:22
3."Brittle Boned"3:37
4."Everybody Does"2:25
5."Good News"3:31
9."Go Home"5:04
Total length:33:33


Credits for Sprained Ankle adapted from 6131 Records' website.[19] and AllMusic.[20]

  • Julien Baker - composer, primary artist
  • Michael Hegner - recording engineer (except for tracks 3 and 8)
  • Cody Landers - recording engineer (for tracks 3 and 8)
  • Josh Bonati - mastering engineer
  • Jake Cunningham - cover photography


  1. ^ a b c d e Claymore, Gabriela Tully (October 26, 2015). "Read An Interview With Young Phenom Julien Baker". Stereogum. Eldridge Industries. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Mook, Aaron (November 10, 2015). "Julien Baker - 11/10/15". AbsolutePunk.net. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Chiu, David (December 9, 2015). "Julien Baker's 'Real Life' Music Tugs at the Heartstrings". PopMatters. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  4. ^ Pritchard, Sean (December 1, 2015). "December 2015 "Band of the Month" – JULIEN BAKER". The Blue Indian. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  5. ^ Dodson, Claire (December 3, 2015). "Julien Baker's brand of sad rock 'n' roll reflects Memphis roots and a self-awareness all her own". Nashville Scene. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Ladd, Olivia (February 23, 2015). "From Memphis to Murfreesboro: Musician Julien Baker Shares Her Passion". Sidelines. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Townsend, Eileen (October 22, 2015). "Julien Baker Arrives". Memphis Flyer. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Donelson, Marcy. "Sprained Ankle – Julien Baker". AllMusic. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Willie Cross (2015-11-12). "Vibewaves: Of the bleak and beautiful : Flaglive". Azdailysun.com. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  10. ^ Butler, Will (March 23, 2017). "Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle". Clash. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Geffen, Sasha (December 1, 2015). "Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  12. ^ Rindner, Grant (March 16, 2017). "Album Review: Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Williams, Matt (October 23, 2015). "Julien Baker: Sprained Ankle". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  14. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (November 5, 2015). "Julien Baker: Sprained Ankle". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  15. ^ Presley, Katie (July 21, 2015). "Song Premiere: Julien Baker, 'Sprained Ankle'". All Songs Considered : NPR. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  16. ^ Claymore, Gabriela Tully (August 18, 2015). "Julien Baker – "Something" (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  17. ^ Barna, Ben (October 1, 2015). "Song Premiere: Julien Baker's "Brittle Boned"". Nylon. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  18. ^ "Julien Baker - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  19. ^ "Sprained Ankle". 6131 Records. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  20. ^ "Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker". AllMusic. Retrieved December 30, 2015.