Be warned, we’re a post rock band now | “Hardline” by Julien Baker


Mason Vore, Malcom in the Middle Fanatic

The phenomenal Memphis singer-songwriter Julien Baker is back with her third album, Little Oblivions. The 25-year-old Boygenius collaborator is typically known for her extremely affecting lyrics and soaring vocals, accompanied by little else than a piano or softly strummed guitar.  However, Little Oblivions defies this from the opening seconds of “Hardline,” employing a full band sound with drums, bass, synths, banjo and keyboard to bolster Baker’s already masterful lyrics. 



Hardline” speaks to how Baker felt after her previous album, Turn out the Lights, and the emotional pressure of having to live up to the promises of one’s lyrics. “I’m telling my own fortune, something I cannot escape,” she laments over a descending arrangement that launches into a cathartic drum break.

This new electrifying sound complements the weight of the album’s content, as each pounding drum beat seems to find a piercing line to attach itself to. Baker’s all for this direction too, tweeting out “be warned we’re a post rock band now.” “Hardline” is more similar to the pop punk bands Julien grew up in Memphis listening to in Memphis.  “I’d sit through the Natasha Bedingfields or Bubbly by Colbie Caillat, cross my fingers and hope that American Idiot by Green Day would be on,” she informed The Guardian recently.

Julien’s ability to write a narrative simultaneously heart-wrenching and uplifting is absolutely special, and “Hardline” is only the first captivating track on the stellar album!

Little Oblivions is out now!