Julien Baker will release her third studio album, Little Oblivions, on February 26 via Matador Records. Ahead of that, she reveals the first look at the album via ‘Faith Healer’, which introduces the exhilarating, widescreen musical palette and infectious spirit of risk-taking found on Little Oblivions, a transformative sonic shift from Baker’s more spare and intimate previous work.
An essay on the album by poet, author, and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead In The Rain, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, A Fortune For Your Disaster) is below.
“I think that “Faith Healer” is a song about vices, both the obvious and the more insidious ways that they show up in the human experience”, says Baker. “I started writing this song 2 years ago and it began as a very literal examination of addiction. For a while, I only had the first verse, which is just a really candid confrontation of the cognitive dissonance a person who struggles with substance abuse can feel– the overwhelming evidence that this substance is harming you, and the counterintuitive but very real craving for the relief it provides. When I revisited the song I started thinking about the parallels between the escapism of substance abuse and the other various means of escapism that had occupied a similar, if less easily identifiable, space in my psyche.
There are so many channels and behaviors that we use to placate discomfort unhealthily which exist outside the formal definition of addiction. I (and so many other people) are willing to believe whomever– a political pundit, a preacher, a drug dealer, an energy healer– when they promise healing, and how that willingness, however genuine, might actually impede healing.”
Pre-order Julien Baker – Little Oblivions.