American artist Julien Baker has a new album entitled Little Oblivions. The theme is mental health and its struggles in everyday life (including pain and darkness).
The music is Alternative. There’s an old-school vibe parallel to 90s music, such as the tune Bittersweet symphony. It’s combined with a contemporary sound similar to Billie Eilish’s discography (i.e. No Time to Die). The album has moments of bold operatic and organ sounds that reflect the performer’s raw emotions, such as Hardline and Ziptide. The guitar and the piano complement the album’s sentiments and the smooth transitions of the rhythm and sound. It’s a dynamic structure of impressive varieties of compositions throughout the record.
Julien Baker’s voice is bold and rhythmic. She has a vocal style that parallels Gwen Stefani’s sound in the song Don’t Speak. She sings in a genuine, with the courage to express her vulnerability.
The lyrics are expressive and passionate, full of raw emotions. The words are well-written with intricate freestyle poetry. The album’s subject matter describes the challenges of everyday life that are understandable and relatable. For example, the songs Heatwave and Highlight Reel cover the topic of panic attacks. It feels human and genuine. Relative Fiction is about self-reflection in evaluating oneself. It feels inspirational and hopeful during challenging times in life. The record has the theme of the complex journey of life with depth and vulnerability. Julien Baker courageously covers the topic of substance use in these three songs: Faith Healer, Crying Wolf, and Bloodshot. These pieces demonstrate how important it is not to judge people in these situations. It’s personal and heartfelt. Ringside covers anxiety and OCD, along with the issue of self-punishment, which is profound. Feeling this way seems more common than one realizes. The songs are soulful and rich in emotion. The album is therapeutic and reassures listeners that feeling the emotions mentioned (i.e. panic attacks and anxiety) is human and normal.
The album Little Oblivions is available.