Julie Doiron, “I Thought of You”

On her first solo albums since 2012, the Canadian songwriter crafts a visceral feeling of joy and camaraderie with the help of her backing band.
Julie Doiron, “I Thought of You”

On her first solo albums since 2012, the Canadian songwriter crafts a visceral feeling of joy and camaraderie with the help of her backing band.

Words: Douglas Menagh

December 10, 2021

Julie Doiron
I Thought of You
YOU’VE CHANGED
7/10

Following 2019’s collaboration with Mount Eerie, I Thought of You is Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron’s first solo record since So Many Days in 2012. Doiron recorded the album with Daniel Romano, drummer Ian Romano, and Québécois songwriter Dany Placard on bass. There’s a traditional rock element to I Thought of You in the sense that it’s a distinctly solo album uniquely reflective of Doiron while the powerful backup band remains ever-present. Within the sound, there’s a visceral feeling of joy and camaraderie that’s inviting to hear.  

What’s most refreshing about I Thought of You is the way each band member gets their time in the spotlight instrumentally, creating a feeling of egalitarianism reflected in the tight instrumentation. What sets songs like “Dreamed I Was” and “They Wanted Me to Say” apart from others on the album is that instead of acoustic rock, there are soft electric qualities. These songs also have moments bordering on psychedelic, particularly with the subdued electric guitar—they’re beautiful in a way that’s direct. They’re also excellent instances where Doiron herself shines, demonstrating a vast range of vocals that alternate between tranquil and energized.  

Having previously reworked some of her songs in Spanish, it’s interesting to hear Doiron sing “Et Mon Amour” in French on I Thought of You, creating an experience that goes beyond the boundaries set by language. There’s also a nice storytelling quality to the album, and like a story with fantastic standalone sentences, the album features great standalone tracks. Songs like opener “You Gave Me the Key” and “They Wanted Me to Say” sound as good on their own and as they do as a part of the whole. 

On closer “Back to the Water,” Doiron leaves listeners with just her vocals over an acoustic guitar. “I’m going back to the water, the place where I was born,” she sings. It’s a very personal and literary way of concluding the album, while also reflecting Doiron’s gifts as a songwriter. The speaker’s voice shines through in a way that expresses through lyrics what preceded it instrumentally. “This water holds me up, it makes me feel like me,” she sings. “This water doesn’t judge, it takes me as I am / This water is my home.” Like a return to something familiar, I Thought of You is comforting and wholesome.