NPR logo Song Premiere: Julien Baker, 'Sprained Ankle'

Just In

Song Premiere: Julien Baker, 'Sprained Ankle'

Julien Baker. i
Jake Cunningham/Courtesy of the artist
Julien Baker.
Jake Cunningham/Courtesy of the artist

Julien Baker started making her own music as a way to stay creative during the school year at Middle Tennessee State University. (MTSU is in Murfreesboro, and her band Forrister is Memphis-based.) It's this music-as-exercise mentality that lends her debut album Sprained Ankle the starkness and intimacy of a note to self.

Julien Baker. i
Jake Cunningham/Courtesy of the artist
Julien Baker.
Jake Cunningham/Courtesy of the artist

Hear The Song

01Sprained Ankle
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/423485712/423491162" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • from Sprained Ankle
  • by Julien Baker

The title track is spare and richly realized, with instrumental backing reminiscent of "Science vs. Romance" by Rilo Kiley (another band who excelled at balancing introspection with relatability). Baker has a soft voice but an assured one, so that when she sings that she's a "sprinter learning to wait," it's equal parts agony and burgeoning wisdom. As a teenager, student and musician involved in multiple projects, Baker may only be dabbling in solo work, or she may carve a permanent place for it in her career. Regardless of where she goes from here, the music she's making for now is wound and salve alike.

Sprained Ankle is out Oct. 23 on 6131 Records.

Featured Artist

Jake Cunningham/Courtesy of the artist

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.