Woke Myself Up
Great art comes from the extremes of emotional experience. Julie Doiron has always been able to channel those passionate depths, having mastered, over the last 20 years, a style of first-person narratives derived from defining moments in her life. But nothing you have heard from her will prepare you for her latest. Woke Myself Up is a beautiful and ultimately heartbreaking listen. These songs reveal someone who is recalling the joys of a loving domestic situation, succumbing to temptation and losing the one closest to her. Perfectly recorded by Rick White, featuring members of Eric’s Trip on all but three songs, it has the eclectic indie-rock feel of an ET album. “Don’t Wannabe/Liked By You,” the most uptempo song, depicts someone initially rejecting unwanted advances only to acquiesce in the end. The title track, a Love, Tara-era acoustic and bass dirge, seems like a calm domestic picture until you realize she’s waking up to escape haunting dreams. The most touching moments come on the wings of quiet reflection. “I Left Town” is a tender account of driving all night through sleet to get home. All of this, considered alongside the final untitled track, essentially a summation in the form of an apology, the whole disc comes into focus. To say that Woke Myself Up is a crowning achievement would be unfair to her back catalogue, but this is arguably Doiron’s best work to date.