Julien Baker – Appointments (Track Of The Day, 14th November)

Our Track Of The Day is a tearjerker. Julien Baker released album Turn Out The Lights on 27th October via Matador Records. If “Appointments” is anything to go by, we can understand why Kill Your Stereo called it ‘album of the year’  and we’ll really need to give the album a deep listen.

“Appointments” is one gigantic heartache. The feeling where you know something is going to be gone soon, but you’re not entirely willing to be at that ‘done’ state. In her honeyed voice, accompanied by sparse sound, Julien shares authentically the thoughts and truths of her flawed self in this state of pain. She’s questioning and wondering about herself, and the situation, but the weight of an inevitable end lingers on.

The music video is perfectly done, in how it shares this same sparseness of scene, as well as Julien’s numbed heaviness as she moves through her world. She shares space with dancers in grey, who at times seem to reflect encouragement for her to keep going and are with her as she goes through the motions of her existence.

Lyrically “Appointments” is divine, as is Julien’s voice. Hope tries to break through the fog with glimmers of possible justifications of how things turned out (“Nothing turns out like I pictured it / Maybe the emptiness is just a lesson in canvases”), but it feels so heart-breakingly wrong when expressed in such weighty sadness of the piano and her vulnerable voice.

It was around this particular moment that she broke me:

“I think if I fail again
That I know you’re still listening
Maybe it’s all gonna turn out alright
And I know that it’s not, but I have to believe that it is”

Plunged into momentary silence, before layered vocals, it’s apparent that she has nothing left but hope, even though hope itself seems pointless.

I loved every minute. Surrender to this:

 

Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it.

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