To a casual Canadian music fan, it might be tempting to cast Julie Doiron as the battered and bruised fighter that can’t stop taking punches. You look at her life – one mostly spent traveling in vans and singing songs, documenting her most intimate moments in sonic boombast and gentle picks – and wonder how she’s still standing.
True fans know she deserves better; whether that be timing or simple appreciation, Doiron’s lot in life never seemed to equal her talent or output. Honestly, you just hope that things finally work out.
That’s probably because so much of Julie is put into every couplet. When you listen to Julie songs, you feel like you know her and her life, like you know who she is. A loving mother. An lover. A drinker. A singer. None of these occupations are easy to control, and any reward is often paired with anxious nights and worse mornings.
Doiron is essentially still writing long prose in her LiveJournal, sharing with everyone and no one, while the world around her regresses to sarcastic memes and gifs thrown quickly on TUMBLR. Her words are shockingly honest. She makes admissions, not confessions. Doiron is simply trying to make sense of her world, not apologize for or criticize it.
Even at her most fragile and broken (“The Gambler” – a candid song about a former lover – and “Homeless” – the type of story you’d expect to hear in a church basement, delivered on breath doused in stale smoke and shitty coffee), you aren’t sure if Doiron will, or even wants to change. Even now that she’s moved back to NB and is on a path often followed by those demanding enlightenment and calm, Doiron’s poses and stretches can’t hide her insecurities and uncertainties. Her heart may beat slower, but it still gets torn in to shreds more than anyone deserves.
And why Julie’s songs hit with such impact is the stark presentation. There are no fancy window dressings, no sonic cushion or distractions. Doiron’s songs are naked (relying as much on the notes she doesn’t play as the precious few she plucks out), and detail the most mundane moments of sadness the way a rapper would freestyle about objects in a room. Even the hints of optimism that creep into her thoughts are assaulted by crippling doubt of wondering why she even gets out of bed in the morning or why no one will ever bring her flowers.
So Many Days isn’t a long overdue celebration of Doiron’s resume or a movie ready upset. Julie’s still fighting for every inch she gets, not ready to stop. So Many Days is the smell of the leather, the sting of a crisp jab, the first taste of blood and the furious swelling that cant be stopped with grease or ice bars. This fight, the next fight; it’s the only life she knows. We’re lucky she is still willing to share it with us and all we can do is cheer when she pulls herself off the canvas one more time.