Julien Baker Signs to Matador, Shares New Song ‘Funeral Pyre’

Guitarist and songwriter's 2015 album gets vinyl release from Matador in March

The reigning queen of sad songs is back with a big announcement and a new song to boot.

Julien Baker has signed to Matador Records, a fitting home for indie rock royalty. The 21-year-old also shared her first song under the Matador banner, “Funeral Pyre”.

Baker spoke to NPR about the new song and its dark themes.


“Obviously, drinking gasoline incurs bodily harm on you, but also, being an accessory to that kind of behavior and having to decide — it incurs harm upon you, too. And then, are you responsible for permitting that? If you stay, are you responsible for permitting it? And if you leave, are you responsible for not intervening? If you intervene, are you out of your bounds? Everything about the song is figuring out how you should act in your level of responsibility for your own health and to others in the dynamic of a relationship, which is a difficult lesson to learn.

“I feel like I would have put myself into an unfavorable or unhealthy position for this person and maybe recognizing from an outside perspective that that destructivism is a more healthy thing to do than to stay in it for the sort of, romantic, admirable belief that subjecting yourself to this kind of sacrificial, fatuous love would be more of the right thing to do.”

No word on a new record, but Matador will release Baker’s 2015 album Sprained Ankle on vinyl and “Funeral Pyre” on March 17.

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