[Song]: Distant Solar Systems
[Artist]: Julien Baker
Overall Grade/Rating: 9/10
Subject Matter: 8/10
Replay Value: 9/10
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Julien Baker’s second single of 2017, “Distant Solar Systems,” showcases her excellent vocals.
Julien Baker has risen through the ranks of indie songwriters with heartbreaking lyrics and and emotional performances. Following the critical and commercial success of her debut album Sprained Ankle, she got a deal with Matador Records this January. She released the single “Funeral Pyre” soon after and “Distant Solar Systems” is a B-Side on that 7″ single. The songwriting remains as strong as ever, but the performance is much more elegant and melodic than previous songs.
Baker’s signature guitar tone remains the back bone throughout the song. Baker quickly starts in on the wandering melody. As she navigates through the typically masterful lyrics (Seriously amazing, you can read them here) the harmonies develop into one of the best parts of the song. The minimal instrumentation on Baker’s songs make the placement and execution of harmonies vital. On “Distant Solar Systems” Baker performs the harmonies masterfully, with more consistency as the song goes on.
As grounded and honest the performances on Sprained Ankle are, “Distant Solar Systems” is equally abstract and cosmic. It’s a good fit for Baker. There is a lot of beauty in “Distant Solar Systems” and it continues to raise Baker’s stock. Listen to “Distant Solar Systems” and Sprained Ankle on Apple Music and Spotify.