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The Review

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The Review


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Happy Birthday, Julien Baker

Courtesy Andrew Witchger (CC)
Julien Baker plays a show in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On this day in 1995, songwriter Julien Baker was born. Now 28, she’s a folk star and works with illustrious members of boygenius (and friends) Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. I’m obsessed. The beads on my Julien Baker bracelet are well-worn; I’m dressing as her for Halloween along with two friends to recreate their Rolling Stone cover shoot from January.

boygenius’s “the rest” is avaliable Sept. 13. (Courtesy of boygenius (Fair Use))

Only as I write this do I realize why my friends call me a fanatic—after introducing a friend to the record, she went to see boygenius last night in her hometown of New Haven, Connecticut. Crowds sang and threw cake to celebrate Julien’s birthday. I told my friend I was shedding happy tears on her behalf.

Julien Baker celebrated her birthday eve on tour in New Haven. (Courtesy Vedant Aryan)

And you may wonder why a high school kid in Texas who looks almost nothing like Julien Baker put the release date of their new EP on her calendar and gets excited over leaks of only half a song. The only similarity is we’re both musicians and brunettes, though I ditched my side part a few years ago. I investigated Baker’s background just to see what I would find, and I was floored. Like Dacus, who was raised Baptist, Baker ruminates on how faith impacts her as a queer musician. Dacus no longer identifies as Christian, though she hesitates to call herself an atheist. She finds it easier to say she doesn’t believe at all than to explain the intricacies of her relationship with religion. And that’s relatable.

Lucy Dacus at boygenius’s New Haven show. (Courtesy Vedant Aryan)

In a society of absolutes, we feel the need to make definitive personal statements with no time to think or room to breathe. So I admire Baker for having an answer that she knows is true. She likes Christian metal and wears a cross because rock and God are not mutually exclusive. It’s comforting for aspiring musicians to know they can be respected without being a bully—and being a good person doesn’t mean taking every challenge lying down. 

Thank you, Julien. And happy birthday.

boygenius’s new EP “the rest” is out Oct. 13 wherever you listen to music.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Walker
Lucy Walker, Assistant Online Editor-in-Chief
Lucy Walker ('25) joined The Review in 2021 as a freshman. She likes Big Salads and her second favorite animal is a shark.

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    AllySep 29, 2023 at 5:25 PM

    lucy this is simply the best. happy birthday julien 🙂