Highlight Reel: Julien Baker's Greatest Collaborations
Photo by Jez Pennington
Solitude and spareness define Julien Baker’s three solo albums, but her music isn’t all forlorn doom and gloom. The 25-year-old loves sharing the stage with — and singing the praises of — the musicians who inspire her. Here are seven of Baker’s best collaborations from the past half-decade!
Touché Amoré - "Skyscraper"
Julien’s ethereal harmonies provide the perfect foundation for this towering rocker from post-hardcore outfit Touché Amoré’s 2016 LP, Stage Four. As singer Jeremy Bolm’s monotone builds to a scream, Baker’s performance grounds the ode to New York City with an elegant calm.
Frightened Rabbit - "How It Gets In"
Baker trades lines with one of her idols — late Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison — on this delicate selection from 2017’s Recorded Songs, the final release by the band during Hutchison’s lifetime. She later covered Frightened Rabbit’s “The Modern Leper” for a 2019 tribute album.
Boygenius - "Me & My Dog"
There’s perhaps no better example of the angelic synchronicity of Boygenius’s 2018 debut EP than this spacey slow-burner. “I gravitated to them because they emanate wisdom and kindness,” Baker revealed to Bandbox about the sadcore supergroup she shares with friends Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus.
Hayley Williams - "Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris"
No, it’s not an Outkast/R.E.M./Hole/Goo Goo Dolls medley! This cut off the Paramore frontwoman’s 2020 solo debut, Petals for Armor, is a flowery number featuring dreamy vocals from Baker and Boygenius. “Hayley was a hero of mine,” Julien told us. “It’s surreal to call her a very good friend.”
Phoebe Bridgers - "Graceland Too" + "I Know the End"
The majestic one-two punch that closes Bridgers’s Grammy-nominated sophomore LP Punisher (2020) lands beautifully thanks to contributions by Baker and Dacus. The banjo-led “Graceland Too” and three-part suite “I Know the End” are both stately examples of the trio’s undeniable vocal chemistry.
Fucked Up - "Year of the Horse - Act Four"
Since 2006, Canadian punks Fucked Up have been making their way through the Chinese calendar with the Zodiac Series. The 2021 edition includes this scorching, 26-minute odyssey where Baker shares vocals with hoarse frontman Damian Abraham and a stable of guest singers. It’s quite the ride!