Singer and guitarist Julien Baker has released her third studio album, Little Oblivions, which arrived this past Friday via Matador Records.

The 12-track Little Oblivions is Baker’s first full-length studio effort since 2017’s Turn Out The Lights, and was recorded in Baker’s hometown of Memphis, TN between December 2019 and January 2020 prior to the shutdown of the live music industry last March. The self-produced album includes Baker’s previously-released singles in “Faith Healer”, “Hardline”, “Heatwave”, and “Favor”, with the latter song featuring Baker’s boygenius bandmates Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers.

From start to finish, the Little Oblivions represents a masterful step forward in Baker’s creative journey, as those familiar with Baker’s trademark sound should hear a noticeable change in sonic direction after listening through the recordings on this album. The melancholy-inspired lyrics anchored down by softer dynamics and subtle guitar playing heard on her first two albums are replaced this time around by the excitement of a full band and more production elements, providing a wave of energy on which Baker can ride in–a nice surprise from the typically softly-spoken (and sung) Baker.

For Baker, the process behind writing and recording Little Oblivions was that of a cathartic journey that began a few years ago when the young musician took time away from touring to take care of her sobriety and health.

“When I wasn’t seeing myself in front of an audience night after night after night and city after city, it was easier for me to create music that made me feel fulfilled and made me feel heard and understood,” Baker told NPR Music during a recent interview. “I felt, honestly, so scared to start talking about this record when we announced it because, you know, I wrote these songs as a process of healing for myself. And I left in the very explicit references to drug and alcohol abuse because I felt it would be dishonest not to.”

Scroll down to stream Baker’s new Little Oblivions on Spotify, and click here to purchase the album on physical formats.

Julien Baker – Little Oblivions