WNXP’s Nashville Artist of the Month for February is Julien Baker, who has, over the last half-dozen years, become known well outside of her native Tennessee as one of the most delicately penetrating voices in indie rock. She’s a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who also produces her own projects, and her vocal crescendos, from murmuring caution to cutting, full-throated feeling, can quiet a room. As far back as high school, when she started fronting a band in the Memphis all-ages scene, she was serious about making music with a DIY ethic, but it was during college at MTSU that she got the chance to record minimalistic arrangements of her own songs, the makings of her debut album Sprained Ankle, and watch them find a bigger, broader audience than she’d ever expected. The acute conscientiousness that Baker brought to talking about complex aspects of her experience, from mental health to addiction and the intersection of queer and Christian identities, made hers a highly sought-out perspective, and her profile only grew with her second album, Turn Out the Lights, on which she expanded her sound to include strings and piano. In recent years, she turned her attention to forming a side band, boygenius, with artist peers Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers and returned to MTSU to complete her degree. Little Oblivions marks Baker’s return to solo album-making with a nervy, full-band sound.
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