The third album from Julien Baker is nearly here, and ahead of Little Oblivions (Feb. 26, Matador Records), the singer/songwriter has shared its third single, “Favor,” featuring her boygenius bandmates Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus, and a lyric video created by Sabrina Nichols.
“Favor” finds Baker looking backwards and inwards over shuffling drums and winding guitars, singing, “I used to think about myself / like I was a talented liar / Turns out that all my friends were / trying to do me a favor.” It’s there Baker’s friends come in, with Bridgers and Dacus joining their voices to hers on the cathartic choruses as they collectively stretch towards redemption.
“Julien is one of those people whose opinion you want to hear about everything. A true critical thinker with an ever-changing and ridiculously articulate worldview,” says Bridgers in a statement. “Her music changes in the same way, and this record is my favorite thing she’s ever done. I’m sure I’ll think the same about the next one.”
“We sang on ‘Favor’ in Nashville the same day we recorded vocals for ‘Graceland Too’ [off Bridgers’ album Punisher] and a song of mine. That day had the same atmosphere as when we recorded the boygenius EP,” Dacus recalls. “Making music was just a natural result of being together, easy as can be but also rare in a way that feels irreplicable.”
“I love the song for its stark but sensitive picture of friendship, what it looks like to recover from broken trust,” Dacus says of “Favor” itself. “Makes me think about how truth only ever breaks what should be broken, and how love is never one of those things. I’m always honored to be brought into Julien’s life and music.”
“Favor” follows previous Little Oblivions singles “Hardline” and “Faith Healer,” which landed on Paste’s lists of the best songs of January 2021 and October 2020, respectively. Little Oblivions itself, meanwhile, numbered among our most-anticipated albums of 2021.
Listen to “Favor” below, and find Baker’s 2016 Paste Studio session further down.