Earlier this year Julien Baker released her critically acclaimed album, Little Oblivions via Matador Records. Today, she announces the September 1st release of Little Oblivions Remixes EP on which select tracks off the album are remixed and reworked by some of the most notable artists in contemporary independent music. Hand-selected by Baker herself, it features contributions from singer-songwriter Half Waif, celebrated electronic composer Helios, Australian folktonica songwriter Gordi and slowcore/shoegaze pioneer Jesu.
Today, she shares the first taste of Little Oblivions Remixes by way of acclaimed ambient-electronic artist Helios’ take on “Bloodshot.” He transforms the heavy, electronics focused track into a dreamlike daze that accentuates Baker’s original melodies while bolstering the bittersweet lyrics and stunning vocal performance.
Helios says, “I was excited when Julien Baker reached out about doing a remix because I respect her work and it was an interesting challenge to do a remix of singer/songwriter material in the context of my approach which is more in the electronic/ambient world. I wanted to keep the integrity of the original composition, which was great, but also wanted to create enough of a spin to give it a distinctly new quality. My approach to remixes is to use as much of the original material as possible but to use those elements as a base to create a variety of new textures. So I took a lot of the guitar and percussion elements and ran them through some old tape recorders to give it a rough “handmade” quality, reversed them, chopped them up or manipulated them with reverbs and delays to create ambient soundscapes. I treated Julien’s vocals to match the rougher, more lo-fi quality I used with the instrumental elements. Harmonically, I changed up the chord changes to give the vocal melody a slightly new framework and arrangement on which to sit and create some new twists and turns and builds in the composition. It was one of the most fun remixes I’ve done to date, with such strong original material it gave me a lot to play around with.”
Tracklisting for Little Oblivions Remixes
1. Faith Healer (Half Waif Remix)
2. Bloodshot (Helios Remix)
3. Ringside (Gordi Remix)
4. Favor (Jesu Remix)
5. Ziptie (Thao Remix)
You can pre-order Little Oblivions Remixes here.
Julien Baker recently played her first show in support of Little Oblivions at The Newport Folk Festival and will hit the road this fall for tours in both North America and Europe. The first leg will kick off in Birmingham, AL on September 3 and the tour will take her across the US concluding on November 16 in St. Louis, MO. The European tour starts on April 15, 2022, in Utrecht.
With the release of Little Oblivions, Baker landed her highest career chart position coming in the top 40 on the Billboard 200. It hit the #1 spot on the Alternative Album, Independent Album, Vinyl Sales and Americana/folk charts as well. It also hit #3 on the Top Current Album chart. Julien had a successful run with her first radio single “Faith Healer” peaking in the top 15 of Billboard Triple A charts. It was the #1 most added last week at radio with her 2nd single “Heatwave.”
Julien recently performed her first streamed concert in support of the album and Consequence of Sound noted, “Like with all things involving Baker, her performance felt marked by a deep attention to what she was doing at the moment—down to the level of each word, which is a feat for an artist whose lyrical abilities are so key to her foundational strength…Baker has reaffirmed herself yet again not only as an insightful and forthright songwriter, but also as a near-fearless vocalist and performer who is unafraid to bear witness to herself and, in doing so, demonstrate the act of that witnessing to the world of fans watching her, with no frills or strings attached. At a show, as in her music itself, she’s the perfect guide for how to choose gore over glory — not because it’s prettier, but because it’s what’s there.”
Baker has performed her single “Hardline” on Late Night with Seth Meyers, “Faith Healer” on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and “Favor” on The Late Late Show with James Corden. She has also appeared on CBS This Morning’s Saturday Sessions. The performance, filmed in Nashville, featured the album tracks “Faith Healer,” “Heatwave” and “Hardline.”
Baker’s third-full length album vaults her into a whole new league,” said Variety, “and proves more than ever that she is a rare artist indeed.” Rolling Stone said, “Little Oblivions’ is not only the most richly produced, pop-aware release of Baker’s career but also her the most unsparingly honest in its messiness.” Little Oblivions is the follow up to Baker’s 2017 sophomore album and first on Matador Turn Out The Lights. In 2018, Baker formed boygenius with Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. The resulting eponymous EP and joint North American tour made for one of the most celebrated and talked about musical communions of that year, highlighting Baker at the forefront of a burgeoning generation of era-defining artists.
Baker shot to worldwide attention in 2015 with the show-stopping debut, Sprained Ankle. Recorded in only a few days, it was a bleak yet hopeful meditation on identity, addiction, faith, resilience and redemption. An intense and immersive performer, her live shows were described by The New Yorker as “…. hushed, reverential. The only sounds you hear between songs are her fingers as she tweaks the tuning on her electric guitar, scattered whispers between friends, and the rustling as the crowd waits patiently for Baker to start strumming again”.
Baker has collaborated on studio recordings with Frightened Rabbit, Matt Berninger, Hayley Williams, Becca Mancari, Mary Lambert, and on stage with Justin Vernon, The National, Sharon Van Etten, Ben Gibbard, and others.
Pictures by DIY, Slate, Guitar World, Financial Times & NY Times