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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
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+ Múm - Peel Session
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+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
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+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
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Julie Doiron
Broken Girl

Listening to the re-release of 1995's Broken Girl feels a little like chancing across old school photos: Doiron's songs here have a bright-eyed naïvete and heart-on-sleeve earnestness which were erased in the spare and insular albums that followed. In this reissue, Broken Girl (the first solo album she made after disbanding Eric's Trip) comes with her early singles, "Dog Love Part II" and "Nora" (the latter being the name given to the car she occasionally recorded in); this set list of hard-to-get repackagings is a clue that most likely this recording is aimed at Doiron completists. Since I'm a self-confessed back-catalogue nerd myself, this album works for me in several ways. There's the chance to listen to Broken Girl itself, which was only available in limited release when it first came out; there's the two versions of Dance Music on this (how music geek-appeasing is that?), both very different from the song released from her later Juno-winning Julie Doiron and the Wooden Stars; and there's the whole curiosity-now-sated factor too. Having never heard Broken Girl until now, I had assumed it was, from the title, a semi-bleak, end-of-my-tether collection of heartsore bruisings. Not so. This is probably the most sunny solo record Doiron has ever put out, but it also squeaks a little with earnestness, youth, and her lack of a distinguishing sound. Mainly consisting of lo-fi acoustic songs with lyrics like "We looked neat and we looked cute/ And somehow it was beautiful" ("Beautiful") and "You cut your hair last year/ I find it makes you taller" ("Taller Beauty"), Doiron sounds a lot like many female singer/songwriters with a guitar. It's a strong contrast to the world-weary and sparse Loneliest in the Morning (which was the follow-up) and the sparely flourished but compelling, sometimes self-haunted later albums (Desormais, Heart and Crime). There are some standout songs, like Laugh With Me and the double versions of Dance Music, but this is Doiron at her earliest, not her best. Still, it's something that's worth keeping, just like the old photos where you and your young classmates are yet to know what you'll look like when you grow up.

by Lee Tran Lam

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