Julie Doiron - I Can Wonder What You Did with Your Day
I was nearly put off by the ultra twee, hand-drawn cover. Don’t ask me why, sometimes these folky illustrations get to me, even if they are Ms D’s undoubtedly lovely kids… But luckily I didn’t because this is a truly great album, totally unexpected; especially if you skip the opener and take it from the growly Spill Yer Lungs (a brilliant mix of grumbly guitar and insouciant vocal delivery), or just skip on to the magnificently upbeat fuzz attack of Consolation Prize (no, it’s not the Orange Juice song).
Doiron has got a dreamy lilt to her voice; she never seems quite serious on I Wonder… or, at any road ready to adopt a ‘heavy’ persona to suit a song’s or sound’s mood. Rather, her presence is understated, allowing this set of clever, well crafted songs to quietly infiltrate the listener’s space. This is very true of When Brakes Get Wet, or Heavy Snow, which always threatens to open up into something all encompassing, but never quite shakes off a feeling of restraint.
There are the odd twee moments (The Life of Dreams or Nice to Come Home) which are okay as they go, but don’t grab me, to be honest. I’m sure I’m missing some emotional pay off… And there’s the odd excursion in French, (Je Le Savais) which can’t help sounding like Stereolab. But hey, that’s no bad thing.
All in all, a really great LP. Worth getting.
Words: Richard Foster