Julie Doiron Woke Myself Up

[Jagjaguwar; 2007]

Styles: indie rock, lo-fi, indie folk
Others: Cat Power, Edith Frost, Eric’s Trip

For those who have been listening long enough to remember, or who've delved into the indie rock back catalogue, Julie Doiron will always be remembered as the comely and rock-solid bassist from Eric's Trip. However, that psychedelic-leaning Canadian combo was not long for this world, and since their demise, she has built a solid body of work as a solo performer. Heartfelt and intimate in tone, her songs are always engaging, and her latest, Woke Myself Up, finds her in fine form.

Dealing largely with the entanglements of family, both good and bad, this song cycle presents Doiron as a woman pulled in a variety of directions by her emotions. "I Woke Myself Up" is a portrait of the artist as a weary but loving mother traipsing about the house while everyone else is asleep. It deftly walks the line between sweet and syrupy. "Yer Kids" engages even more directly the insights that parenthood has brought into her worldview, and again, she avoids the possible cute overload -- this time aided by a lovely and graceful guitar line.

Far from being a romantic vision of maturing, there are some tougher issues being worked out, and the unrest manifests in some truly wonderful moments. One incredible standout is "No More," which along with "I Woke Myself Up" and "The Wrong Guy" reunites the Eric's Trip crew to great effect. It chugs along as a taut and tense missive about lost love. As the album's centerpiece, it's also its crowning achievement. It seems growing up isn't only about settling down for Doiron, and quite selfishly, I couldn't be happier about that.

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