“The best of what humans and machines can bring out in each other” is how NPR Music described Doe Paoro’s single “The Wind,” a meditation on urban isolation in the face of Hurricane Sandy. The song, which was produced by Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon with beats by Chicago duo Supreme Cuts, sets the tone for release of Paoro’s Anti- debut album, After, available now.
The album’s first single is the intoxicatingly downtempo, R&B-influenced “Growth/Decay,” which Paoro co-wrote with Sterling Fox (who has previously worked with Lana Del Rey, among others). The groove-laced, gospel-inspired track ruminates on the notion that change fuels all life, with the chorus putting out the call to “cycle to the light or fade away.”
For After, Paoro worked with producers Sean Carey (drummer / supporting vocalist for Bon Iver) and BJ Burton (The Tallest Man on Earth, Sylvan Esso, and others) to even further deepen her musical repertoire, creating a mesmerizing hybrid of R&B, synthpop, and indie-leaning electro rooted in an earthy minimalism, drawing from influences ranging from Carole King to Portishead, Aretha Franklin and beyond. The album was recorded at April Base, a Wisconsin ranch house that Vernon had converted into a studio. “I’m used to just working with a piano,” says Paoro, “but with this album, we built an entire world with the sonics alone.”