More than any other songwriter, you can tell exactly what’s going on in her life. Direct and painfully honest, she lays it all out in her lyrics. “I just sing about what’s happening,” she admits, resigned to her style. “I don’t know how to do anything else. I don’t know how to write any other way. I’ve wanted to… I’ve tried! Because sometimes I feel like maybe I shouldn’t be so direct, but I don’t know how.” In the past, listeners have shared in the heartbreak of loneliness, the break-up of a band, the grind of raising young kids, and the dark fears anyone can slip into during a relationship. While the direct approach is still very present, this time she’s almost the happiest woman in town. “I keep saying that it’s a change in a positive direction. I’ve started to love life most of the time, and I’m happy, and I’m having a great time raising my kids.”
In addition to this new perspective, Doiron has made an album which showcases a thick distortion and melodic pop not heard since her days with indie heroes Eric’s Trip in the ’90s. It’s part of a desire to get back to her electric days with that band. The past couple of years have seen Eric’s Trip regroup for triumphant reunion tours, and a rekindling of her work with Trip mainstay Rick White (who produced her 2007 Polaris Prize-nominated album Woke Myself Up, and returned for this album). I Can Wonder was recorded at White’s isolated home studio, just northwest of Toronto. Doiron handled the electric and acoustic guitar parts, Rick played all the bass and keyboards, and Fred Squire performed all the drums and some lead guitar. Squire, who comes from Sackville, New Brunswick, is Julie’s bandmate in another of her projects, Calm Down It’s Monday.