Sonia Kreitzer aka Doe Paoro who is a Californian native may not ring any bells for you yet and that’s okay because we are here to sound the alarm! We were lucky enough to catch up with her in the last week to talk about her new album and all its intricacies. Doe Paoro bursts open in every possible way for her fans on her debut album ‘after’. She’s deep, like ocean floor deep in the best kind of way, finding her music and listening to it for the first time might actually be similar to discovering a treasure chest in a sunken ship. While not as old as an ocean floor ship she has been round the musical traps for quite some time now, a good four years or so. Music is just a world of human beings and robots really, the robots, making sounds, the humans programming them, adjusting them. You know the whole “ you’re a perfect balance of sexy and cute” that’s what Doe Paoro's album is, except take away cute and replace it with human, and take away sexy and replacement it with robot.
While she is the great talent she is, with an amazing vocal range that unlike other female counterparts actually sits in a very low range allowing her to have what I consider more of an edge vocally. And an amazing song writing ability with lyrics that read like direct quotes from books, you could type her lines out and expect to see them on good reads. For example in the song Outlines there is a line that really resonates “If you find kindness suspicious, it’s going to be a long road to unlearn it.” Don’t tell me that wouldn’t be in the back of every 18 year olds diary. While she is great, and wondrously articulate in her writing abilities, credit also extends to Sean Carey (drummer / supporting vocalist for Bon Iver), BJ Burton (The Tallest Man on Earth, Sylvan Esso, and others) and Justin Vernon who needs no introduction at all. “After” was recorded at Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin. Surely recording in such an environment can only result in brilliance. “Justin Vernon is an incredible spirit. Down to earth, wise, funny, generous and gifted. I passed through a few obstacles on the path to getting this record made because I was unwilling to compromise artistically and I wanted to make sure my music maintained integrity. Justin assured me to keep going and stay with my process. He’s a crucial figure in what is happening in music right now - a community builder and a true artist.”
Well for me the proof is in the pudding let’s start with Growth/Decay. The vocals are amazing, the lyrics, the structure it all just happens so well over the top of the soft synth pads and a 80s style slow kick clap combination. “Outlines” moved me, lyrically the strongest track on the album. The Wind is a bit of an anthem, gets you moving, and gets you inspired. Hypotheticals sounds very Bon Iver-esque at the start (which if you are anything like us, will be enough to sign you up and listen to the rest of it) and by start I mean literally 10 seconds worth, it’s nice and then distorts into a dark synth grind, heavy vocal saturation and next thing you know, you’ve got yourself clapping and half dancing.
Travelling is the hero of the album, it comes at you with some of the most powerful lyric and melody combinations you’ll hear, it relatable and coherent. It builds and builds the whole way, starting with a tightly plucked guitar intro moving slowly into a more involved sound. By the end you’ve been moved in a way only previously done before by Bon Iver in their song Perth.
The album has a lot of depth, you can dance and cry, and that is the perfect balance of cute and sexy.
“I began writing this record shortly after I self-released my first album, Slow to Love, in 2012. Most of the songs were written in Brooklyn, New York where I was living at the time. Production went down at Justin Vernon’s studio in Wisconsin over the course of 2013-2014. I moved to Los Angeles in 2015 and signed the record to ANTI-, and we just recently released it on September 25th. I slowly moved Westward across the entire United States over the course of the three years that I took to make this record. I think the multi-dimensional sense of time and place is a big part of the soundscape.
In terms of rituals, we had been working on the record for months and I was getting a bit cabin fevered and losing perspective on the music. I found a mediation center in the middle of Wisconsin and did a 10 day silent retreat there, as soon as we finished recording everything. On the last day, BJ Burton, who had co-produced the record and mixed it, picked me up from the center and we listened to the mixes he had worked on while I was gone. I felt like those ten days gave me a renewed appreciation for what we were making and vision for what needed to happen next.”
‘To me, music is a personal alchemy. It’s a way that I can transform my experiences -- whether they were pleasant or unpleasant - into something that I can share with and offer to other people. A lot of times, I turn to music when I’m going through it, and writing is a healing on my heart.
I’m all about other people having their own experience of my music and interpreting it in a way that is meaningful for them. It seems narcissistic to expect other people to see my music the same way I do; we are all coming from incomprehensibly diverse and distinct backgrounds. Many times, people will point out something to me that I couldn’t see, in my own music, and in this way, it truly becomes an exchange. ‘
With dreams of working with Rick Rubin in mind, she lets me in on her favourite song from the record
“Outlines because it’s so personal. I wrote it by myself over the course of three nights in my apartment in Brooklyn. For months, I thought it wasn’t finished lyrically -- I wanted to write a verse about what it felt like to fall in love with someone new, but I hadn’t fallen in love with someone new yet, so I couldn’t honestly write about that. Finally, one day, I listened to it and realized it was about coming to a place of self-love, and then the song was complete for me.”
On the topic of favourites she goes on to talk about her favourite artists right now-
“We opened for Sylvan Esso on their Fall 2014 tour. They are amazing! Some of my other favorite recent artists are Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Deradoorian, Drake, my friend Mas Ysa and I’ve been listening to a lot of old SWV and Portishead.”
So what’s next from this wonderful emerging artist?
“Touring! And continuing to write. But touring first! Not stopping; I have so much inspiration right now.”
And some hot movie and book tips
“Harold & Maude, Fierce Grace. Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche, Just Kids by Patti Smith, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.”
She hopes Australia loves the record, and if we spin it enough hopefully we can expect a tour in 2016.
-Jack Cain for Cool Accidents
Doe Paoro's After is available now where all perfectly balanced cute and sexy music is sold | streamed.