When songwriter Julien Baker was touring her debut LP Sprained Ankle, the first impression she’d make was how small the presentation seemed. It was just the lone Baker on stage, joined only by her single guitar and amplifier, seeming like the big stages she was playing on could swallow her right up at any moment. But once she started playing, nothing about it would seem little, including the huge emotions she conveys within her music.
Now supporting album number two, Turn Out The Lights, Baker’s music only seems to be growing in popularity and in its more expansive sounds. The latter is evident on her appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, where she’s joined by a violinist for a run of three songs: “Hurt Less,” “Even,” and “Appointments.” On the closing “Appointments,” we see Baker working with looping, able to weave herself on multiple instruments within the same single song. The growth isn’t as dramatic as the lasting effect is, but it does serve as the sort of next step we’d hope for from a promising artist like Baker, signifying a commitment to pushing herself a little further than what came before.
Check out the excellent NPR Tiny Desk performance above, and revisit our interview with her that was conducted right after this was filmed.