Transforming pain into transcendence is the genius of many pop artists; Doe Paoro brings an entirely new depth to that process. On her third album, Soft Power, the Los Angeles–based singer-songwriter digs into her frustration and anguish, and ultimately comes away with a newfound strength that is profoundly inspiring.
“So much of the album is about reclaiming parts of myself that I had lost,” explains Doe, originally from Syracuse, New York. “It’s about being a woman, and what exactly that means at this particular moment in time; about witnessing a lack of justice when it comes to men and control. Both at the personal and societal levels, I was watching people in power play games with our lives, with the environment. I found this theme reappearing in the music I was writing during this period; it was less intentional and more about a certain kind of catharsis.”
Naming Carole King among her inspirations, Paoro notes that the more urgent feel of the new record comes partly from reconnecting with the instinctive approach of her earliest songwriting.
“One of my intentions was to drop any questions about what might be inventive, and just focus on writing songs that felt true to my experience,” she says.