Julien Baker‘s star rose unquanitifiably with the release of her second album Turn Out The Lights and the boygenius EP, so excitement has never been higher for new music from the songwriter. She delivers today with a track and video called “Faith Healer” and news of an album called Little Oblivions, which will arrive on February 26 via Matador. On the new single, she reveals:
“‘Faith Healer’ is a song about vices, both the obvious and the more insidious ways that they show up in the human experience. 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.”
Interweaving layers of her distinctive guitar tone, Baker opens “Faith Healer” with her usual poise, while her words reveal a grittier story of struggles with addiction and failing self-care. Her voice is a natural balm, so it never feels like she’s judging; there is concern and consideration in every note she sings. Even when she rises with resplendent guitar in the desperate chorus, where she beseeches the titular “Faith Healer” to help her be better, her tone is honest and uncynical, open to all wondrous possibility. While the “Faith Healer” might not have any true ability to help, there’s no denying that Julien Baker’s music contains plenty of power to help listeners through whatever is ailing them.
Watch the video for “Faith Healer”, directed by Daniel Henry, below.