Julie Doiron Woke Myself Up

Julie Doiron Woke Myself Up
Whether or not her songs have been autobiographical, Julie Doiron’s body of work has always sounded confessional. Her, at times, painfully earnest stage presence plays into this, as does the litany of lullabies that have comprised much of her recent discography. This, her seventh solo album, is at once her most extroverted and insular. She teams up with co-producer Rick White and the rest of her former band mates in Eric’s Trip and sings with a confidence not heard since the last time she fronted a band, on her 1999 collaboration with the Wooden Stars. Lyrically, she documents a gut wrenching break-up that rings universally true and bears a cringing, coincidental resemblance to the recent dissolution of her own marriage. Woke Myself Up is a natural successor to 1993’s Love Tara, it’s all grown up yet still navigating emotional minefields with unflinching honesty, especially the devastating closing track. Set to her best collection of songs in eons, the uncomfortable subject matter makes this that much more impossible to ignore.

How did you approach writing this material in the midst of such turmoil? Well, the crazy thing is that I wrote the record right before the trouble started, when I was still happy and in marital bliss. Everything fell apart right after I recorded the album, basically. I truly believe that if I hadn’t been away from my family so much [while touring] that [break-up] wouldn’t have happened. Do you ever think about having to perform these songs for years afterwards? I do think about committing to that when I write them. There are some songs from the past that I can’t play anymore, even if I really like the song. For this [album] I just have to be a professional performer and not think about it. I feel really lucky that I seem to be able to write songs that are really personal to me but that a lot of people relate to. I don’t know how it happens. When did this turn into an Eric’s Trip reunion? Rick was hesitant, thinking the two of us could do everything ourselves. But I thought it would be a fun way to play with the guys without turning it into Eric’s Trip, because we’d talked about doing a record together that way as well at some point. This would be an easy, non-committal way to work together and see how it sounds. I wanted to reconnect with them, because these were the first people I ever played music with. (Endearing)