Julien Baker Covers Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place”: Stream

She's also shared "Heatwave" from her imminent new album Little Oblivions

Julien Baker Covers Radiohead and Shares New Song "Heatwave"
Julien Baker, photo by Alysse Gafkjen

This is Julien Baker’s big week. On Friday, she’ll release her highly-anticipated third album Little Oblivions, and today she’s building hype in two ways. Not only did she share a new single from the album called “Heatwave”, but she also performed a beautiful cover of Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” during an XMU Live Session.

Her take on the Kid A intro track doesn’t stray too far from the original composition, but the 25-year-old does put her own stamp on it. Over the song’s iconic drum pad pulses and swimmy synths, she lets her warbly and slightly soulful croon expand and contract in a Yorke-ian manner. It’s Radiohead as performed by a Southern indie-folk songwriter in 2021, and it’s gorgeous.

“Heatwave”, on the other hand, is the fourth single from her bigger-and-brighter third LP. Baker’s earlier music was mostly just her voice, clean electric guitar strums, and tons of reverb, but this and the other singles from Little Oblivions have been significantly more buoyant and fleshed-out. The core of “Heatwave” is a folky acoustic guitar lick, but the song has a brisk pace and chipper drums that recall the punchiest moments on Elliot Smith’s XO.

In a statement, Baker spoke in plain detail about the song’s inspiration, which spurred from an existential moment she had after witnessing a car wreck.

“Maybe it’s a trite or well-trod topic, but ‘Heatwave’ is really just about being confronted with how much time I spend worrying about things that are trivial. I was stuck in traffic because a car had randomly combusted, and it made me feel so stupid for being concerned with the things I had been anxious about earlier that day. It was just such a poignant thing, an event that communicated a lot of complex things in a single image. So I wrote a song about it.

I know I’m not the first person to witness an atrocity and consider my own mortality or life’s fragility because of it, but that truly was my experience. Theoretically the lesson or symbolism to be interpreted there is that life is precious and it’s not worth it to give your time and energy to negative thoughts, but jesus, how could you be a person alive on earth right now and not have negative thoughts?

It’s certainly less romantic to say that the consideration of life’s fragility made me feel relieved at my own inconsequence, but it’s true; it is comforting to think of the minuscule role everyone plays in the human drama, to realize we have more choice about what we give power over us than we maybe thought.”

Take a listen to her “Everything In Its Right Place” cover and “Heatwave” below.

Little Oblivions is out on Friday February 26th via Matador Records, and pre-orders are still ongoing. Earlier this month, Baker reunited with her boygenius bandmates, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers, for a song called “Favor”. Also revisit her recent appearance on Going There with Dr. Mike, where she spoke candidly about her history with depression and OCD.