Here's a review of Julie Doiron's new album, which she will be performing at Phog Lounge on Sunday February 25th.
There are advanced tickets available for $8 at Phog.
This show will be accompanied by Baby Eagle, who has not yet visited Phog.
I expect a massive show of support for this show, but I know the tickets will be hard to come by at the end of the week.
Here's the review.
Woke Myself Up
New Brunswick indie group Eric's Trip, who broke up following the release of their 1996 Sub Pop album Purple Blue, were one of those increasingly rare acts whose work has never become particularly over- or underrated-- at least by those of us outside of Canada. The group's admirers are content just to remember and cherish the band as they were: a foursquare but reliably melodic lo-fi outfit whose songs were charged with flashes of noise and subtle lyricism. The group's modest legacy has been ably reinforced by the subsequent career of band member Julie Doiron, whose solo work both as Broken Girl and under her own name has been similarly filled with a natural intimacy and chance moments of homespun, offhanded beauty.
So it only stands to reason that Woke Myself Up-- much of which constitutes a virtual Eric's Trip reunion-- is such a low-key affair. Produced by Eric's Trip guitarist Rick White, the album also features regular appearances from former group members Chris Thompson and Mark Gaudet, all chugging steadily along behind Doiron's ever-winsome voice and guitar. As has become her trademark, the album is crowded with organic, vaguely melancholic tales of home and hearth, with each clear-eyed lyric fully possessed by whatever household drama is at hand. Kind-hearted and disarmingly earnest, Doiron's music remains as resistant to curmudgeonly critique as it is to over-exuberant hype.
Perhaps since the album is a reunion of sorts, on several songs here Doiron concerns herself with the uncomfortable disconnect between the faces of her past and those of the present. "I don't want to be loved by you/ I never understood your scene," she sings on "Don't Wanna Be/Liked by You", before she softens and tempers her kiss-off by adding, "I suppose I'll just let the love in." A similar emotional dissonance crops up again on "Me and My Friend", when she notes, "We are not friendly anymore... so long ago it meant much more than this."
Unfortunately, if the rest of her ex-Eric's Trip bandmates recognize something of themselves in Doiron's familiar domestic laments, they're not saying, as they all sound perfectly satisfied to witness these songs from a comfortable distance. On full-band tracks like the sleepless mother vignette "I Woke Myself Up" or the wryly romantic "The Wrong Guy", the group's restrained rock textures feel grafted onto solo Doiron songs after the fact. Even on the engaging "No More", the best of the album's collaborations, Doiron sounds like she's having difficulty writing for a band again, as the group struggles to fully integrate each musician's performance into the arrangements.
"When we'll pass on the street/ I won't look away if you don't look away," she talk-sings to another lost love on "You Look So Alive", the song's narrator setting careful limits on how much of the past to permit herself. Fittingly, she sounds most at ease on the album when she remains in the present, ruminating on the joys of motherhood ("Yer Kids") or casting wishes out her kitchen window ("Swan Pond"). Since the dissolution of Eric's Trip, Doiron has carved herself a cozy little niche as a songwriter and a master of understatement, a niche that seems too comfortable for her to vacate for long. While these home fires can be appealing, though, at some point Doiron's work-- with or without her erstwhile bandmates-- could certainly benefit from a measure of high-spirited youth and adventure that goes beyond that one last fond, passing look.
-Matthew Murphy, February 15, 2007