Over the past few months, Julien Baker built up a lot of anticipation for her third studio album Little Oblivions. Last year, she debuted the single “Faith Healer,” which was soon followed up by “Hardline.” Then, earlier this month, she joined forces with her boygenius bandmates Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers for “Favor.”
Now, Julien Baker has debuted a moving new performance of “Hardline” on Late Night With Seth Meyers. The appearance, which aired on Mar. 1, shows Baker and her band bringing the Little Oblivions opening track to life in a minimalistic black box performance space.
Amidst various spotlights in the room, Baker’s signature vocals shine through as she sings about depression, substance abuse and forgiveness. The devastatingly honest song eventually builds up before coming to a close in a swirl of harmonious guitars, drums and synths.
“Hardline” is just one of the moments on Little Oblivions that offer a glimpse into Baker’s personal world. Last year, she told Rolling Stone that making this new album completely altered how she views herself and her life.
“It’s so hard to be wrong about something you were so sure was right,” she said. “I feel like Turn Out the Lights [her 2017 LP], the whole premise of so many of the songs were the two parts of the self facing each other, the antagonistic part and the good, triumphant, idealistic part. It’s been a process of understanding those are the same person. Instead of overcoming and defeating and subduing this negative part, trying to mercifully assimilate that into your understanding of yourself.”
Baker’s Late Night with Seth Meyers performance arrives just days after she unveiled an emotional cover of Radiohead‘s “Everything In Its Right Place.” Her take doesn’t stray too far away from the original Kid A recording. However, Baker’s distinct sound and vulnerable vocals help give the 20-year-old track a whole new spin.
Starting at 5 P.M. PT/8 PM E.T. on Tuesday, Mar. 2, Baker is teaming up with My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way and DeathbyRomy for a special new event. The artists are coming together for the virtual event Unwound & Unplugged. Together, the trio will be performing stripped-down sets and opening up about their own struggles with mental health as part of the National Day Of Unplugging.
What are your reactions to Julien Baker’s new “Hardline” performance? What is your favorite song on Little Oblivions? Let us know in the comments below.