Wanna feel sad? Wanna feel like it’s raining heavily outside even if it’s not? Listen to Turn Out the Lights by Julien Baker. Dark, quiet music with a lot of piano, low key electric guitar, and mournful vocals about mental health struggles and the accompanying love and relationship struggles (especially when your partner doesn’t understand what you’re going through). This album might not be for everyone but there are some very powerful visuals and lines that make you think, “oh fuck.” (See Track 5, “Sour Breath,” for an example.)
RIYL: being sad
1. Over (1:28): No lyrics, starts with the sound of Julien opening the door, walking into the room and starting to play the piano.
2. Appointments (04:33): About someone you love not being able to handle you, and suggesting you go to therapy, and you dealing with therapy.
3. Turn Out The Lights (03:24): About trying to get used to your experience with mental illness.
4. Shadowboxing (03:53): About fighting with your demons that no one else can see or understand, and everyone else thinking you’re crazy.
5. ***Sour Breath (03:04): A song about feeling like you and your mental health are burden to the ones you love. Refrain: “The harder I swim, the faster I sink.” Ends rather abruptly after she yells it a final time so plan accordingly, you can’t fade out before this!!!
6. **Televangelist (04:52): Lyrics have excellent and sad visual metaphors. Just about straight up pain.
7. Everything That Helps You Sleep (04:21): Starts a little warmer than the others, a touching song about calling out to God to help you stop thinking in spirals.
8. *Happy to Be Here (04:16): Has a nice guitar intro; lyrics about having a simpler life if not for struggling with mental health. Awesome extended metaphor about electrical wiring (yes, I mean that).
9. *Hurt Less (03:59): About learning how to take care of yourself when your past strategies weren’t really doing you much good.
10. *Even (03:33): More guitar heavy (acoustic) than the others. About thinking about whether you should be cruel to someone or be a better person...but you kind of want to ruin their life...but you contain it and feel even worse. Really. We’ve all been there...right?
11. Claws In Your Back (04:38): About the monster of mental illness being “on your back.”