Doe Paoro - Soft Power | RECORD STORE DAY

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Transforming pain into transcendence is the genius of many pop artists, but Doe Paoro brings an entirely new depth to that process. On her third album Soft Power, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter digs into her own frustration and anguish, and ultimately comes away with a newfound strength that’s profoundly inspiring. Soft Power thus bears a raw vitality that marks a major departure from Doe’s previous album. Naming Carole King among her inspirations, Doe notes that the new record’s more urgent feel comes partly from reconnecting with the instinctive approach of her earliest songwriting. Throughout the album, Doe infuses her songs with a rebellious spirit. A passionately charged track about misogyny, “Guilty” blends cascading guitar lines with sharply cutting lyrics (I know I’m not the first / that you made defend her word). . “Over” brings classic girl-group harmonies and smoldering vocal work to speak to the song’s central question: Now that I’m older / does it get easier / to get over? Several songs also confront the notion of setting boundaries, with “Projector” centering on “the refusal to let someone else superimpose their story onto yours” and “Walk Through the Fire” emerging as a brutal testament to the fact that “self-examination is ultimately a solo job – and there’s no easy way to do it.” The result is an album that’s undeniably potent in its emotional impact. “One thing I’ve continued to find through writing songs is the ability to alchemize painful experiences into something that’s useful and healing,” says Doe. “For me that’s the highest purpose of music—both in terms of what it offers to me and what I wish to offer to others.”