Julien Baker sings with a kind of wounded open-heartedness that get to the emotional core of a song in a way that is simply staggering. Its one of the reasons that her most recent album Turn Out The Lights was such a triumph. At a recent gig in Massachusetts, Baker brought that same level of vulnerability to a tender cover of Mountain Goats’ song “No Children” from their 2002 album Tallahassee, using it as a lead-in to her own song “Blacktop.”
Clearly, Mountain Goats enjoyed Baker’s interpretation of their song, with John Darnielle taking to Twitter to call it, “The best version of ‘No Children’ I’ve ever heard.”
In a recent interview, Baker talked about the pressure that comes with delivering for a bigger audience. “I wanted to make the record that I wanted to make but I wanted to execute it in the best way possible because I knew that, unlike last time when I was just making a record for fun, there is a listenership that is invested,” she said about the follow-up to her debut Sprained Ankle. “I have more resources available to me in the sense of being on Matador and so I wanted to explore all of the possibilities to make the best thing that I could.”
You can watch Baker’s incredible cover of Mountain Goats’ “No Children” in the video above.