Julien Baker Shares New Song "Heatwave" (Plus Read Our Review of the New Album) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, April 21st, 2021  

Julien Baker Shares New Song “Heatwave” (Plus Read Our Review of the New Album)

Little Oblivions Due Out This Friday via Matador

Feb 24, 2021 Photography by Alysse Gafkjen
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Acclaimed singer/songwriter Julien Baker is releasing a new album, Little Oblivions, this Friday via Matador. Now she has shared the album’s fourth single, “Heatwave,” which is about trying not to worry about trivial things. Watch the lyric video below. Also, today we posted our rave review of the album. Read that here.

Baker had this to say about the song in a press release: “Maybe it’s a trite or well-trod topic, but ‘Heatwave’ is really just about being confronted with how much time I spend worrying about things that are trivial. I was stuck in traffic because a car had randomly combusted, and it made me feel so stupid for being concerned with the things I had been anxious about earlier that day. It was just such a poignant thing, an event that communicated a lot of complex things in a single image. So I wrote a song about it. I know I’m not the first person to witness an atrocity and consider my own mortality or life’s fragility because of it, but that truly was my experience. Theoretically the lesson or symbolism to be interpreted there is that life is precious and it’s not worth it to give your time and energy to negative thoughts, but Jesus, how could you be a person alive on earth right now and not have negative thoughts? It’s certainly less romantic to say that the consideration of life’s fragility made me feel relieved at my own inconsequence, but it’s true; it is comforting to think of the minuscule role everyone plays in the human drama, to realize we have more choice about what we give power over us than we maybe thought.”

Baker has also announced that on Friday at 2 p.m. EST NPR Music will be hosting a listening party for the album on YouTube. It will feature Baker, alongside journalist Jewly Hight and Mackenzie Scott (aka TORRES), in discussion about the album.

It was also previously announced that Baker will be launching a new livestream concert to be held at Nashville’s Analog on March 25. The performance will take place via STAGED, a virtual concert series created by Audiotree. It will be aired three separate times, at 8 p.m. AEDT, 7 p.m. GMT, and 9 p.m. EDT. Tickets start at $15 and are available here.

When Little Oblivions was announced in October, Baker shared “Faith Healer” via a video for it. “Faith Healer” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then Baker performed “Faith Healer” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Then she shared another song from the album, “Hardline,” via an animated video for the propulsive single (which made it to #1 on our Songs of the Week list). Baker also did a session for Seattle radio station KEXP. Then she shared the next single from the album, “Favor,” which featured backing vocals from Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, her bandmates in the supergroup boygenius.

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 her previously stripped back sound.

In 2018 Baker also teamed up with fellow singer/songwriters Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers to form supergroup boygenius, whose self-titled debut EP was released via Matador.

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.

Read our rave 9/10 review of Turn Out the Lights.

Read our 2016 interview with Baker and our 2015 Artist Survey interview with her.

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