Friday, January 8th, 2021
Watch Julien Baker Perform “Faith Healer” on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Little Oblivions Due Out February 26 via Matador
Jan 08, 2021
By Christopher Roberts
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Julien Baker is releasing a new album, Little Oblivions, on February 26 via Matador. Last night she was the musical guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert where she performed the album’s first single, “Faith Healer,” with her band. Watch the performance below.
Baker released her last album, Turn Out the Lights, back in 2017 via Matador, her first for the label. It was our Album of the Week and more importantly it was #2 on our Top 100 Albums of 2017 list. Little Oblivions is her third studio album (her debut was 2015’s Sprained Ankle). Little Oblivions was recorded in December 2019 and January 2020 in Baker’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Calvin Lauber engineered the album and Craig Silvey mixed it, both of whom worked on Turn Out the Lights. Baker plays most of the instruments on the album, which a press release says fleshes out and expands were previously stripped back sound.
Of “Faith Healer,” Baker had this to say in a previous press release last year: “Put most simply, I think that ‘Faith Healer’ is a song about vices, both the obvious and the more insidious ways that they show up in the human experience. I started writing this song two years ago and it began as a very literal examination of addiction. For awhile, I only had the first verse, which is just a really candid confrontation of the cognitive dissonance a person who struggles with substance abuse can feel—the overwhelming evidence that this substance is harming you, and the counterintuitive but very real craving for the relief it provides. When I revisited the song I started thinking about the parallels between the escapism of substance abuse and the other various means of escapism that had occupied a similar, if less easily identifiable, space in my psyche.
“There are so many channels and behaviors that we use to placate discomfort unhealthily which exist outside the formal definition of addiction. I (and so many other people) are willing to believe whomever—a political pundit, a preacher, a drug dealer, an energy healer– when they promise healing, and how that willingness, however genuine, might actually impede healing.”
In 2019 Baker released a 7-inch single on Record Store Day featuring the new songs “Red Door” and “Conversation Piece.” Later in 2019 she shared two new songs, “Tokyo” and “Sucker Punch” as part of the Sub Pop Singles Club
Read our interview with Baker and boygenius.
Read our 2017 cover story interview with Baker.
Also read our 2017 cover story bonus Q&A with Baker.