Julien Baker‘s new album Little Oblivions, out next month, is undoubtedly one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Following on from lead single “Faith Healer” she has finally given us a second taste in new song and video “Hardline”.
Set to be the opening track of Little Oblivions, “Hardline” finds Baker coming out swinging with one of her most bruising and confessional songs to date, coupled with the most sonically forceful backing we’ve heard from her. From the very outset, it finds her bravely facing up to her problems with alcohol – “blacked out on a weekday / is there something I’m trying to avoid?” – and only spirals down into more dejected revelations from there. But, with her natural luminescence of character and voice, Baker turns this tale of toxic behaviour into a moment of reckoning; she might not come to any resolutions on “Hardline”, but simply by admitting these faults she’s thrown herself into a battle. This is cinematically evoked through enormous beats and searchlight beams of guitar, which carry her confessions to a new plain – one where she can hopefully forgive and start to improve.
The video for “Hardline” was created by Joe Baughman, who notes: “Man, even after having spent 600 hours immersed in ‘Hardline’ and having listened to it thousands of times, I am still moved by it. It was a fun and ambitious challenge creating something that could accompany such a compelling song…. The style of the set design, inspired by a sculpture that Julien created, was especially fun to work in. I loved sifting through magazines, maps, and newspapers from the 60s and 70s and finding the right colors, shapes, and quotes to cover almost every surface in the video.”