Song of the Week: Julien Baker – “Appointments”

Julien Baker’s first album, Sprained Ankle, was one of the most powerful, devastating and still hopeful debuts of recent years. With just a sparse guitar, piano and her vocals, she weaved stories of struggle, addiction, identity crisis and heartbreak. Her new song, “Appointments,” is just as minimal but achieves even greater heights.

Over a high-pitched, circular guitar melody, Baker confesses about letting another person down. “I think if I ruin this/That I know I can live with it/Nothing turns out like I pictured it/Maybe the emptiness is just a lesson in canvases,” she sings. But the hardest hitting moment comes at the end, when she belts out the words in a desperate attempt to fight for something better. “Maybe it’s all gonna turn out alright/Oh, I know that it’s not, but I have to believe that it is,” she yells, the emotion in her voice impossible to ignore.

If this song is any indication, Baker’s second album, Turn Out The Lights, will be just as heart-rending and beautiful as her first. It’s out on Oct. 27.