Doiron’s days

Julie Doiron spends her days with her kids and her nights playing music. “Every day, I wait to play.”

Julie Doiron says winter’s emptiness inspires her musically.

Julie Doiron has been quietly rocking her way into peoples’ hearts since 1990, when she started singing and playing bass in Eric’s Trip. Numerous solo albums, a Juno and a Polaris nomination later, Doiron is based near Jean-Talon Market in Montreal and is still very happy to be making music. “I love performing every night,” she says. “Every day, I wait to play, I get excited.” Recently home from a US tour with Mount Eerie, which brought her to many smaller towns, Doiron is busy writing songs, spending time with her kids and going to the YMCA---she tries to go every day.

This is a good time of the year for Doiron---she wrote a lot of songs last winter and hopes this season will be similar. “I do more writing in the winter just because it seems to unleash all these feeling of yearning and a desire to do something else,” she says. “When the snow is fresh, it’s kind of the way you look at a blank canvas.” Doiron says she writes a lot of her melodies while walking around and tends to put them to music when she gets home. “There’s that moment where, if we’re lucky, we’ll experience a whole song coming out at one time,” she says.

Woke Myself Up---a 2007 collaboration with Eric’s Trip’s Rick White, Mark Gaudet and Chris Thompson---has some really catchy rockers on it, including the very danceable “No More” and it sounds as if her new album, I can wonder what you did with your day (coming out in March), will have more of the same. Recorded at Rick White’s house near Orangeville, Ontario, it features Doiron on guitar, White on bass and keyboards and Fred Squire (Doiron’s boyfriend, formerly of Shotgun and Jaybird) on drums. Sometimes White and Squire would work on arrangements in the house while Doiron would step outside to finish a song. “I showed up at Rick’s still missing three songs, but with lyrics written,” she says.

Doiron describes the new album as confident and intimate without being fragile. “I managed to write a few positive-sounding songs,” she says. “One is ‘Glad to be Alive’---about waking up in the morning in the beautiful light of the day and going to bed at night and still being grateful to have my health and the people in my life.” There are also songs about falling in love and starting to discover someone and some sad songs as well. Squire contributed two songs, including “Spill your lungs,” a first for a Doiron album. “He’s got some beautiful, beautiful songs and I’ve been frustrated that he doesn’t put them out,” she says.

Doiron and Squire have been touring for the past year-and-a-half as a duo, Jonathan Richman-style, with Squire on drums and Doiron on guitar (they reverse their roles for his project, Calm Down It’s Monday). “It’s been really awesome,” Doiron says. “It’s liberating, because I can switch to anything I want to switch to, not like if there was a bass player.” For their shows at The Carleton on Sunday, December 14 and Monday, December 15, Doiron promises to play songs from the new album as well as older songs. She jokes that instead of focusing on writing, she’s trying to relearn her old songs. “It’s challenging to pick what I feel like playing,” she says. “I usually open it up to the audience and ask them, ‘What do you want to hear?’ But I can’t guarantee I’ll remember them.”

Doiron, years past writing quiet songs to avoid waking her young kids, asks what the appeal of her music is. “Why would anyone care about what I have to say?” she says. “I’m just singing about my own little lonesome life.” Doiron interrupts herself with the answer: “Wait, everyone has those feelings and maybe I’m doing a good job putting to music those things people often feel.”

Julie Doiron w/Calm Down It’s Monday, Sunday, December 14 and Monday, December 15 at The Carleton, 1685 Argyle,

9pm, $20, 422-6335.

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