As a songwriter and vocalist, Doe Paoro seeks both to uplift and unsettle. For her ANTI debut After, the New York-bred, L.A.-based artist worked in close collaboration with producers Sean Carey (drummer/supporting vocalist for Bon Iver) and BJ Burton (musician/producer/engineer whose past credits include POLI?A, Sylvan Esso, The Tallest Man On Earth and Volcano Choir), deepening her musical repertoire into a dense hybrid of R&B, synth-pop, and indie-leaning electro that's rooted in earthy minimalism. ''I'm used to just having a piano and working with that,'' says Doe, ''but with this album, we built an entire world with the sonics alone.'' In early 2013, with a batch of songs ready to be recorded, Doe reached out to Bon Iver leader Justin Vernon on a whim to see if he'd be interested in contributing to the new music in some way. ''I didn't know Justin at the time, but I sent out an email and his manager got back to me,'' she says. Vernon ended up mixing one of the tracks, and from there, a relationship with the extended Bon Iver-family blossomed, with Carey and Burton taking the reins to co-produce After. ''There's an assumption that pop music needs to be dumbed down,'' she says. ''But I think pop can be surprising and make you uncomfortable sometimes. It can ask you to think about something you hadn't considered before, and maybe awaken a place in yourself that you hadn't been giving attention to.''
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