BLACKBOOK PREMIERE: Doe Paoro’s New Single ‘Fading Into Black’ is a Powerful Meditation on November 8th, 2016
Image by Rinny Perkins
Though her debut album, Slow to Love, was released in 2012, it was her follow-up, 2015’s After, that inspired NPR to name Brooklyn singer-songwriter Doe Paoro one of their “Six Musical Discoveries You Can’t Miss.” Indeed, Noisey called the record “powerful, svelte, atmospheric,” and Pitchfork raved that it was “confident, beautiful and clear-eyed.”
2018 will bring the release of her eagerly-anticipated third longplayer. In the meantime, she’ll be launching a 12-date U.S. tour (with Son Little) in Portland, Maine on September 13 – but not before the release this week of a strikingly powerful new single, ‘Fading Into Black,” which BlackBook premieres here.
Over a somber, desolate piano intro, and palpably haunted by doubt and fear, in her signature smokey intonation she solemnly laments of, “Standing along in the mirror / Wondering what went wrong.” It explodes into a cathartic chorus, with the soul-baring songstress howling regretfully that “we can’t turn back.” By turns it recalls the likes of Lykke Li, Fiona Apple, even Patti Smith. And it turns out to have been inspired, at least lyrically, by the events of November 8th, 2016.
What was the origin of the song?
I had originally written it in Los Angeles, and went to London to record it. I had been up since 3AM [on November 8], hitting refresh on my phone over and over again, each time hoping for a different result, as I watched the U.S. election play out from my tiny room in London.
So you had to take it all in far from home, in the earliest hours of the morning?
I’ll never forget the feeling on the ride to the studio that morning, red-eyed, and the sad waddle of the bus back and forth, and the rain and all the people and their newspapers. But really, the most specific feeling was related to this sense of being out of sync with time: I had been up for hours and yet it was morning for most other people on the bus, and suddenly it felt like time was not so neutral anymore. Because I wanted to take the last twelve hours back and change what had happened; but we all know how that story goes…
The song became about that fateful day, November 8?
When I got into the vocal booth, I could not sing the original lyrics to this song, I was so overpowered with anger and regret. I wrote the new lyrics on the spot and we recorded it; they came effortlessly and the song felt fated to arrive on that day. For me it’s about personal regret over collective decisions, and the choices the collective makes that feel like they are made from a place of fear rather than hope.
And it feels quite prophetic, as it is released at a particularly fearful and divisive time in America…and the world.
It’s very sad to me that this song feels so prescient. Here we are in America in August of 2017, mourning Charlottesville, marching against white supremacy and our degenerate government, which has complete disregard for the health of its citizens and our planet. I feel like we are constantly grieving and protesting. Maybe that’s just what needs to happen for something to shift.
09.14 Petit Campus, Montreal
09.19 Stage One, Fairfield, CT
09.20 The Haunt, Ithaca, NY
09.21 Club Cafe, Pittsburgh
09.22 Rumba Cafe, Columbus, OH
09.23 Mercy Lounge, Nashville
09.26 White Rabbit Cabaret, Indianapolis
09.27 Zanzabar, Louisville, KY
09.28 The Southern, Charlottesville, VA
09.29 Boot & Saddle, Philadelphia
09.30 Boot & Saddle, Philadelphia