Like every other blogger we get plenty of emails. Well, when we say plenty, we figured out we get one every 11 minutes, all day, every day. It’s somewhat boring to go on about it, but our point is that there’s a whole stack of music waiting in our inbox every time we fire up our Gmail. Naturally, we don’t like to miss out on any exciting artists, so we do our best to wade through when we get time, although it’s more like using a thimble to bail out The Titanic. Sometimes this means that we have to rush through songs. We give them as much time as we can, but on the odd occasion we are found hurriedly skipping through the song, especially if it hasn’t grabbed us immediately. Those tunes which do grab us from the outset get more time. It’s not a perfect solution, but we would be there all day if we gave every tune it’s full three to six minutes. Every now and again though, one bowls you over. It doesn’t just get played in full, it arrests you faster than a dodgy copper in a bad mood and has our finger glued to the repeat button. Today Doe Paoro did exactly that. You have been warned, this is a stop-whatever-you’re-doing moment.
This is music for grown ups, in that it’s dark and somewhat scary, so much so that even the adults are likely to be cowering behind the sofas as they listen. Doe Paoro, aka Sonia Kreitzer, describes her music as “ghost soul“, which confirms the haunting imagery her songs clearly provoke, but there’s a rounded set of curves to her otherwise sparse piano-and-vocal constructions. It’s also bursting with originality, as she uses her vocal talents – and this is a major talent – to produce sounds that weave unique inventiveness throughout each song. In recent months she’s earned some useful coverage in her home borough of Brooklyn, with write ups in magazines such as The Deli and coverage on the established music blog, Brooklyn Vegan, as well as appearances on East Village Radio. Now she’s filtering through to the press this side of the Atlantic, with the below video premiering on NME.com on February 8th.
The first thing to emerge from her was a wonderful cover of Future Island‘s Little Dreamer, which completely recreates it from the ground up, well, more like from six feet under and up. The vocals hold it together over a piano that has it’s keys played so sparsely it’s as if every note takes the time to be gently woken up before being heard. Her voice seems slightly fried, as if being delivered through the television in Poltergeist, but even with all this in mind it still attracts, rather than spooks. Like James Blake, it’s her ability to tap into the melody that works so well. It’s not a ghost she produces, but the soul ripped from the ghost. This white girl soul is found once again with Can’t Leave You, which has vocals strengths akin to Adele, showing us a level of skill that can only be obtained with some classical training. Yes it warbles and wails, but there’s also melancholy cotton-picker’s texture to it throughout. She plays the heart-strings like a violin that’s being plucked, with a tension and a bleak sadness bleeding all over it.
Born Whole is equally as unplugged, once more bringing us tones and shades associated with James Blake, beginning with a styled, almost TuneYards-like vocal oddness. This apparently comes from her study of Lhamo, which we’ve been informed is an unusual Tibetan method of vocal operatics, something she discovered when recently travelling alone through the Himalayas. It’s sourcing inspirations such as these that weave elements of such originality in her music. The hip hop confidence then arrives as the chain-gang beat begins to thud the march. It all combines to secure a truly fine piece of timeless songcraft, and the video is just as thoughtful. It sets up the debut album, Slow To Love, very nicely indeed. It’s due out next week, on February 14th, and promises to stir all who encounter it. She may describe her songs as ghostly, but what the listener doesn’t realise is that it’s as if this artist really enters the room once you’ve committed to the play button. Your stereo becomes the Ouija board, the air turns ice cold and you’ll witness something you cannot prepare yourself for. Sometimes we never quite know the reasons why we’re compelled to listen to an artist in full, rather than simply deleting it and moving on, but with Doe Paoro we get it – she possessed us, and sorry, but as soon as you click play on the below buttons you too will be just as entranced. (MB)
DOE PAORO – BORN WHOLE
DOE PAORO – CAN’T LEAVE YOU
DOE PAORO – LITTLE DREAMER (FUTURE ISLANDS COVER)