Julie Doiron

Woke Myself Up (Jagjaguwar)

Julie Doiron has a long-running history with Eric's Trip, a brilliant but mostly defunct Canadian four-piece. The band was great mostly thanks to main songwriter Rick White and his creative production techniques—"lo-fi," if you have to call it something. As a result, I was shocked (shocked!) to find out that White had produced and played (along with the rest of Eric's Trip) on almost all of Woke Myself Up, because the record, at times, comes nervously close to being adult alternative.

Bands with this kind of production and tone work usually because the songwriting is superb, and so it is that only two songs are able to execute it: "Dark Horse" and "You Look So Alive." "Dark Horse" exemplifies Doiron's songwriting at its best—she sings, "I'm writing you from Montreal/To tell you that I don't belong here/I'm writing you from Montreal/Bye-bye" over a classic but consistent folk backbeat. Her cadence and lyricism demonstrate either a result of painstaking craftsmanship on her part or a happy accident. I'm rooting for the former, because it means that a great album by Doiron is only a matter of effort, not luck.

 
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