Windjammer: The Off-Beat Pop of Doe Paoro

The new Anti-signed artist picks and weaves from pop, folk, and James Blake-style electronic soul.
By    June 22, 2015


Will Schube owns several professional backgammon records.

“I think pop can be surprising, even uncomfortable,” says Los Angeles based Doe Paoro. While her latest song “The Wind” isn’t anxious, its structure reveals a track as complex as it is catchy. Over a simple keyboard line, guest vocalist Adam Rhodes sings, “You only show/Enough to keep me guessing.” Snaps-­as-­percussion establish the rhythm before Rhodes’ husk gives way to Paoro’s tenderly powerful voice. The two eventually meld into an artificial sweetness: sugary but not saccharine.

Paoro self­-released her debut Slow to Love in 2012 and has teamed up with Anti for the forthcoming follow­up (no date has been announced). That debut established Paoro’s enchanting ability to pick and weave sounds from different traditions as something both coherent and shifty. “The Wind” displays both these traits as it builds to something yearning and relieving. Paoro moans wordless flourishes as rising synths pray to the altar of James Blake. The terrain can get awfully sticky when so many different elements are smushed together in hopes of something lucid and emotive, but as “The Wind” demonstrates, Paolo can pull it off. After listening to the track on repeat, the last thing Paoro’s music evokes is discomfort.

photo from Stephen Paul

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