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Julie Doiron | D├ęsormais (Jagjaguwar)
Ex Eric's Trip chanteuse Julie Doiron has created 2001's first classic album. 'Desormais' is quite possibly one of the most beautiful and haunting records I have ever heard. Sung in her Franco-Canadian native tongue, save for one song, it is one of the most perfectly formed half-hours of music you are likely to hear. The instrumentation is sparse and considered. For the most part Doiron is accompanied by simply a lush, plucked electric guitar. On tracks where the sound is fleshed out, it is arranged so subtly, you almost don't notice it's there; the minimal beats that flutter in and out of Le Piano, to the repeated electronic strings on Tu Es Melades. It is somewhat odd to hear a record so intimate where the vocals mean 'nothing', my grasp of French amounting to little more than asking for the time. But somehow it doesn't matter - the phrasing is so mesmerising, (and, let's face it, you won't find a more romantic and lilting language than French), that its every song sounds like a lament to lost love, or a soothing lullaby. You can almost make the words mean what you want them to. A rich, remarkable album, and the high point in both Doiron's career and in my musical year.

James Hindle
CWAS #9 - Winter 2002