Julie Doiron - I Thought of You Music Album Reviews

Julie Doiron - I Thought of You Music Album Reviews
On the first new album under her own name since 2012, the Canadian songwriter makes her voice the focus. Her songs feel instantly familiar, like smaller pieces of a timeless story.

Afew years ago, when asked to describe her music in one word, Julie Doiron responded, “Life-like.” It’s a perfect choice for a few reasons. Since her 1997 solo debut, the Canadian songwriter has favored sparse settings, minimal overdubs, and no effects on her voice—an atmosphere that conjures the image of a lone figure trudging through snow, cutting the quiet in a calm, dry voice. But Doiron said “life-like” and not just “life,” because her music has an element of surreality: The lyrics—pared-down stories full of I’s and you’s that read more like stage directions than scenes—resemble life in the way a sketch or an outline does, asking to be overlaid with our own imagination to see the full picture.

It’s been nearly a decade since Doiron last released a collection of new songs under her own name, but I Thought of You shows no signs of the long gap. The music is instantly familiar, easy to slot alongside career peaks like 1999’s Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars. Like that album, which paired Doiron with the Ottawa indie rock band, I Thought of You is a collaboration, this time with the adventurous singer-songwriter Daniel Romano. Over the past few years, Romano has tried everything—a prog suite with a member of Tool, a creative reinterpretation of an underrated Bob Dylan record, a thrashy punk bloodletting—but these skeletal country songs return him to his roots. Between the two of them, not a moment feels out of place.

The shadowy nature of Doiron’s music feels particularly suited for collaborations. She leaves room for conversation, pauses for a response. Consider the standout track, “Thought of You”: The lyrics suggest that Doiron has contacted us after an intense period of self-reflection, presenting the findings of her personal inquiry in the form of an apology. “And honestly,” she sings, her voice cracking, “I felt ashamed.” The subject should be heartbreaking, but within Doiron’s narrative, Romano hears something more like a psychedelic Western: It’s not a dark moment of introspection, his lead guitar line suggests—it’s a showdown, all taking place in someone’s mind.

Throughout these songs, Doiron shines as a vocalist. She has remarkable control over her voice, folding simple sentences like origami to reveal surprising detail. She uses no words in “Good Reason” that would feel out of place in a casual text exchange: “home,” “gone,” “coming,” “back.” Yet the way her voice pulls and falters through a line about a lover returning after a long absence—“He had said he was/But he hadn’t said when”—fills in the more poetic details: the narrator’s mixed emotions; the strain the relationship has placed on her; the emotional distance that remains as the physical distance closes.

The thoughtfulness of Doiron’s delivery ties her to an older lineage than the ’90s indie rock scene where she first emerged as a member of the Sub Pop band Eric’s Trip. As she has evolved as a solo artist, Doiron has taken on the quality of a traditional vocalist: She can shift the meaning of a song with just her voice, whether serving as an empathetic foil on Mount Eerie’s Lost Wisdom albums, reinterpreting her own music in Spanish on her Canta en Español releases, or penning songs that feel increasingly like part of a longer, more timeless story.

“Back to the Water,” the closing track, is one such composition. It’s a country-folk song that Doiron plays solo on acoustic guitar, the kind of bold, idiomatic composition that could be sung by anyone, at any point in history. Like much of the album, the lyrics describe a kind of homecoming, although this one is left intentionally ambiguous. Instead of describing the place or her journey back, Doiron simply explains the way she feels when she’s there, how a setting can change her. “I know that there’s a lesson here for me to learn,” she tells us, but earlier in the song she finds a simpler way of expressing it: “It makes me feel like me.” Because if she’s not in motion, trudging ahead and landing somewhere new, then she’s not home yet.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Julie Doiron - I Thought of You Music Album Reviews Julie Doiron - I Thought of You Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on December 07, 2021 Rating: 5


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