Julie Doiron Wakes Up!
Below is a copy of a review for Julie Doiron's upcoming awesome album Woke Myself Up which, if I don't say so myself, is the biz-natch (that means really good). The review will appear in the next issue of umfm's monthly publication.
Julie Doiron – Woke Myself Up
And it all starts to make sense. Ever since Julie Doiron began writing songs apart from Eric’s Trip she has gently lulled us to sleep with numerous albums of soft-spoken confessional songwriting. Whether it was through her 1996 Broken Girl album, her 2000 album with the Wooden Stars, the French Desmorais, 2002’s Heart and Crime or 2004’s Goodnight Nobody (featuring Herman Dune), Doiron has spent the better part of a decade perfecting the craft of writing fragile and subtle music that never hinted at anything ‘rock.’
Woke Myself Up points to new potentials for the singer-songwriter. With the help of her fellow Eric’s Trippers Rick White, Mark Gaudet and Chris Thompson, Doiron unleashes a wonderful song cycle that clearly wants to rock. The album consists of numerous moments where the quiet guitar that is typical of Doiron’s solo material is losing a fight with a brittle distorted guitar. As a result, the album is much more a response to Eric’s Trip’s Purple Blue than Doiron’s recent material.
However, Woke Myself Up isn’t wholly different from Doiron’s solo albums. The confessional lyricism that has made her albums so inviting is still around. This time it is taken to a new level as Doiron shares with us the frustration and pain of being involved in a failing marriage (she and her husband split up soon after she finished writing the album). This is music that is inextricably tied to the writer’s current experiences, while never retreating into tacky sentimentality or ‘love gone wrong’ clichés. It is music that only Doiron can make, and only Doiron should make.
Woke Myself Up could very well be the defining record of Doiron’s 16-year career. It’s a wonderful mix of the harshness that made Eric’s Trip memorable, and the sincerity that blessed her solo work. It points Doiron in a new direction, giving her songwriting new life and vigor when she appears to need it the most.