Doe Paoro – ‘After’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

The entirety of Doe Paoro‘s music presents itself as a mystical experience. It is almost in the same realm of meeting a new person and being blown away at everything they say, do and think. Within seconds of starting any of the ten songs found on After one can feel a pull from the complex randomness of life, instead being whisked away into a delicate massage of ambience. It is this place that the mighty singer takes over your entire being, resonating the rhythm of your heart and bringing comfort along the way.

“Silence can be so loud, it’s abrasive,” is the first line sang by Paoro, backed by a slow synth pulse. As the chorus is brought to life, so is the song itself. The textures become more radiant, shifting through different tones and sounds until the entire song basks in a bed of roses. Most every song will feature the digital reverberation, often marked by synthesizers and various bells. However, the way Paoro can shake their presence up in different tracks shows her knack for tremendous songwriting. ‘Nobody’ is one track that is a bit more eccentric, having blasting drums pacing behind the winding musical compositions. Other than this, the synths are usually on the more calming side, often times droning out with soothing moods, like ‘Untethered.’ Leading the way is Paoro’s masterful voice and the song becomes more urgent when her voice does. 

And what a mighty range she can unleash. ‘Hypotheticals’ has a bit of effects added to the vocals, but she still showcases how much power she can put into her delivery when she needs to. She belts out the chorus line, “and now you’re asking me what’s fair, what’s fair.” In this same song, we see Paoro’s ability to slide her voice through different pitches, naturally blending in with the rise and fall of the progressions. ‘Walking Backwards’ showcases how ambitious her melodies can be, dancing around synth chords with ease. At the songs end we find Paoro at her most vulnerable. When she cries out “my bodies a mess,” I really feel it. Her ability to reach out through her music and embrace you with her emotions is one of the reasons After is relatable. It’s seductive in nature and I wouldn’t want it any other way. 

‘Nostalgia’ is the most pop friendly song here, characterized by an attractive bell loop that is mirrored by the singer’s melody. It’s a friendly song meant to captivate listeners and force them to think, reinforced by her line, “Nostalgia is killing us.” The ability of humans to grow from their past should be a journey aided with by this tune. The song becomes a dazzling jam after the last chorus, featuring bright melodies and a syncopated beat worthy of dancing, foot tapping or even rocking back and forth. ‘Outlines’ is sonically the most diverse song in comparison to the rest, and it comes smack in the center of the LP. A piano ballad reminiscent to an early day Fiona Apple piece, the song is vastly quiet compared to the others. It’s a composition that has so much room to breathe, it breathes nothing but fresh air. I have a new love, and it’s with Doe Paoro. Closing tune ‘Wake Up In Nowhere’ is the meditation of escape. It’s a romantic vision of finding peace and harmony with nothing but delicacy. 

I would be lying if I didn’t say this is one of my favorite releases of the year. There are a few tracks that haven’t reached out the hand of embrace yet, but nonetheless, the entirety of After is a delicate beauty. The small details placed in every orchestration is something worthy of praise. Doe Paoro is here to embark on an adventure, and the only thing stopping her is you not pressing play. Go ahead, let ‘Traveling’ start it off. Stream After in its entirety below, being released through Anti Records on September 25th.

Score: 9/10


Check our interview with Doe Paoro here: