Release Date: 23 January 2007 (Jagjaguwar)
This is a straight forward album. Acoutic guitar and piano based rock songs with intelligent lyrics. Julie Doiron's voice and songwriting skills are exceptional. Right off the bat, I liked this album. With each successive listen, I liked it more. It's been two years scine she released an album of new material. It was produced by Rick White, Doiron's former bandmate from Eric's Trip.
No More (mp3) [removed] No More (video) [removed] | Me And My Friend (video) [removed]
Kristi brushed the hair out of her smooth almost-18-year-old face and tucked it behind her ears. She had just crept out of her bedroom window and crouched onto the roof. This was where she went late at night, after she was supposed to be asleep, when she wanted to listen to her ipod and smoke a few cigarettes. This teenager had a specific song she wanted to listen to, but Julie Doiron’s “Woke Myself Up” works great as a complete piece full of great songs, one after the other. The whole album was only about a half hour long.
She pressed play and listened to an acoustic guitar strum a few lines to begin the song “I Woke Myself Up.” A drum roll and electric guitars brought on a song about getting up in the middle of the night. It was Sunday night. Kristi was thinking of all the extremes of what would happen tomorrow at school. Her whole life probably changed this weekend.
She has had a crush on Kip Masters for two years now. Mr. and Mrs. Masters were out of town this weekend and Kip took the opportunity to have a small party – just some of the in crowd drinking much more than they knew they could. Kristi and her friends had been invited. It could have been the greatest night of her life.
The second song, “You Look So Alive,” came one. The acoustic guitar solos and the lyrics (Your eyes tell me we’ve made a mistake/ And we’ll pass on the streets/ I won’t look away/ If you don’t look away/ I won’t look away) dug into Kristi’s mind as she thought about passing Kip and Teresa in the halls tomorrow.
Teresa was Kristi’s best friend. They went everywhere together, including to Kip Master’s house. When Kristi’s midnight curfew came, she left. As she got into her car, she saw a drunken Kip lean in to Teresa and a drunken Teresa gazing up at Kip. Kristi started the engine, put it in reverse, and looked up before she drove off only to see their lips stumble together. Teresa didn’t call her at all this weekend.
Kristi was up in the middle of the night again. But she took comfort thinking that Julie Doiron was also the nocturnal type. Not only was the title track of this album about getting up during the moonlight, but also “I Left Town” was about a drive at 1:30 in the morning. That bare bones track, just guitar and vocal, gently rolled with its waltz time signature. She kept scrolling back this track to hear a cat faintly meow 2 minutes into the song.
She wasn’t staying up to think through how fucked up the situation was with Teresa or lamenting that her desires for Kip would go unrequited. She was smoking a few cigarettes and realizing that her high school days were almost over. She had been accepted into NYU and wasn’t planning on caring any extra baggage with her to school anyway. As “Dark Horse” came on (with the lyrics - Now I’m writing you with all my heart/ To tell you that I don’t belong here/ I’m writing you with all my heart/ Bye bye), she knew where her heart was. Or at least confident and comfortable with where it wasn’t.
This album not only fit her mood, it also suited character. She was too sweet to be full of angst, but too intelligent to ignore the anguish. As young as she was, Kristi’s a woman who could look back at the things that have not worked out for her, accept the outcome, and move on with strength and integrity.
The reason Kristi was listening to “Woke Myself Up” was to hear the song “Me And My Friend.” As only a teenager could, she made this song the anthem for everything that was going to happen in her friendship with Teresa. The lyrics (Me and my friend are not friendly anymore/ We have not talked for so long/ And if we had to talk what could we say sitting side by side// Well so long ago we were dancing and singing/ We could be together saying nothing/ So long ago it all meant more than this) captured the emotions of the moment and the finality this weekend denoted to Kristi.
She took her last few drags of the night as the final track, an untitled bonus track, came through her tiny headphones. In her mind, this is the song Teresa would listen to one day. This would be the song that could tell Teresa all the thoughts she was supposed to have (What a foolish thing I’ve done/ To lose the only one/ Who really knows me at all).
Kristi put out her last smoke, climbed back into her bedroom, and went to sleep. When she woke up for Monday morning, she wouldn’t be worried about a confrontation with Teresa. “So long ago it all meant more than this…”
Submit this story to: