Freakishly good singer-songwriter Julien Baker has had quite a busy year for someone ostensibly between projects. After splitting 2018 between continuing to promote her breakthrough album Turn Out The Lights and releasing an outstanding EP as part of supergroup boygenius, Baker has continued to trickle new music into the world throughout 2019.
For this year’s Record Store Day release, she unveiled a double side single comprising “Red Door” and “Conversation Piece.” Most recently, Baker also contributed to the release of Tiny Changes: A Celebration Of The Midnight Organ Fight, a reimagining of Frightened Rabbit’s album to celebrate its 10th anniversary. And within the last month, subscribers to the Sub Pop Singles Club received two new vinyl-only songs from the Matador signee.
Baker’s contribution to the 7″ series was headlined by “Tokyo,” a swirling meditation that walks the line between ballad and anthem. In what feels like a reverse chorus, a piano marked cadence strolls with Baker’s vocal walk downs. A temperate use of reverb on the vocals vies with the billowing and echoey synths. It’s a bit haunting, with minimal percussion that sounds like it’s in an entirely different space than the rest of the piece. There’s a mass of emotion here that climaxes when Baker begins bellowing out the chorus, resolving in quiet that then builds back up to sheer instrumentation. An air of nostalgia and coziness makes this tune beyond perfect for fall.
Today “Tokyo” is available to stream for the first time along with B-side “Sucker Punch.” Check out both songs below.
“Tokyo” b/w “Sucker Punch” is out now on Sub Pop.