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The Meaning Of Julien Baker Turn Out The Lights

Updated: Mar 19

From the first fingerpicked notes, "Turn Out the Lights" casts a shroud of intimacy. Baker's voice, barely above a whisper, draws you into a confessional chamber, raw and exposed. The acoustic guitar, stripped bare of embellishments, echoes the stark vulnerability in her tone.

Julien Baker Turn Out The Lights Review

As the song builds, it's not a rise in volume, but a deepening of the emotional well. Layers of strings, subtle and melancholic, weave around Baker's melody, each note a brushstroke against the canvas of introspection. The tempo remains unhurried, each phrase given enough space to linger, to resonate in the cavernous silence it carves around itself.

Julien Bakers Turn Out The Lights is a heartwrenching track. 

There's a sense of unraveling throughout the song. The melody seems to fray at the edges, mirroring the internal tug-of-war Baker portrays. Yet, amidst the vulnerability, there's a thread of determination woven into the fabric of the sound. It's not a defiant fight, but a quiet resolve to confront the darkness, to push through the murk in search of some glimmer of light.

Turn Out The Lights Coda 

The final notes ring out, not with resolution, but with a lingering melancholic beauty. "Turn Out the Lights" doesn't offer easy answers, doesn't shy away from the sting of self-doubt and questioning. Instead, it leaves you suspended in the space between the shadows and the dawn, a witness to a poignant journey through the labyrinth of the soul.

This is not a song to passively listen to; it's an invitation to participate in the unraveling, to face the raw honesty it lays bare. It's a song that leaves an imprint, a whisper that lingers long after the music fades

Listen To Julien Baker Turn Out The Lights

What is the meaning of Turn Out The Lights by Julien Baker?

Turn Out the Lights: A Psychological Journey into Self-Confrontation

Central Theme: Self-confrontation and inner turmoil in the face of isolation and existential questioning.

Lyrics Breakdown:

Verse 1: The unfixed hole in the wall acts as a metaphor for unresolved internal wounds. Baker's reluctance to fix it reflects her avoidance of dealing with deeper emotional issues. The line "easy for everyone else?" hints at feelings of inadequacy and loneliness.

Verse 2: The blurred lines between reality and dream illustrate a sense of dissociation and internal confusion. The plea for help suggests a desperate desire for guidance and clarity.

Chorus: The repeated refrains of "turn out the lights" create a powerful image of entering complete darkness, an internal abyss where one stands alone with their self. The lines "no one left / between myself and me" emphasize the intensity of self-confrontation, highlighting the vulnerability and potential terror that comes with facing one's inner demons.

Emotional Tone:

The song is permeated with a palpable sense of melancholy, self-doubt, and existential angst. Baker's hushed, vulnerable vocals further amplify the raw emotions. There's an undercurrent of yearning for help and escape, but also a steely resolve to confront the darkness head-on.


"Turn Out the Lights" delves into the psychological landscape of grappling with unresolved internal struggles. The darkness represents the subconscious, a realm of unaddressed anxieties and insecurities. The song confronts the fear of isolation and self-confrontation, but also hints at the potential for self-discovery and growth that lies within that darkness.

Additional Notes:

  • The sparseness of the instrumentation mirrors the stripped-down emotional state of the speaker.

  • The cyclical nature of the lyrics, echoing the chorus, underlines the repetitive and consuming nature of internal struggles.

  • The open-ended conclusion leaves the listener grappling with the unresolved questions of self-knowledge and the path forward.

Julien Baker Turn Out The Lights Lyrics 

[Verse 1]

There's a hole in the drywall still not fixed

I just haven't gotten around to it

And besides I'm starting to get used to the gaps

Say you wish you could find some way to help

Not to be so hard on myself

So why is it easy for everyone else?

I'm not always like this

There's always tomorrow, I guess

[Verse 2]

And I'd never do it, but it's not a joke

I can't tell the difference when I'm all alone

Is it real or a dream, which is worse?

Can you help me? I just wanted to go to sleep


(When I turn out the lights)

When I turn out the lights

There's no one left

Between myself and me

But when I turn out the lights

When I turn out the lights

When I turn out the lights, oh

There's no one left

Between myself and me

Related Reading for Boygenius and Phoebe Bridger Fans:

Don't forget to check out our breakdown of Not Strong Enough by Boygenius, whilst diving into the meaning of Letter To An Old Poet and Bite The Hand.

There's also our review of Me & My Dog that we recommend giving a read and listening to too.

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