Singer-songwriter Paul Doffing possesses an extraordinary connection with the natural world, having ridden nearly 13,000 miles on bicycle through 22 U.S. states and 7 countries – and performing concerts all along the way. Using these experiences, along with those acquired during a two-year stint pedaling through Central America and Europe, he has assembled a collection of folk-minded songs which speaks to both his environmental advocacy and the musical inspirations which have shaped him since he was a child. This new record, “Running in the Dark,” is a culmination of miles traveled, people met, and geography adored.
“My highest hope is that it is music that touches the listener’s heart,” Doffing says, describing the new album. “That it takes them somewhere and helps them feel something that maybe they forgot about, or even feel something they didn’t know about.”
“Running in the Dark” was released today, and across its 9 tracks, Doffing explores the haste of modern life and the reality of our uncertain connections with one another and with our environment. Taking musical cues from artists such as Leonard Cohen and Patrick Watson, he contrasts our assumptions against the truth of our surroundings, often finding unforeseen beauty and love where it’s least expected.
“There were times when I was making the album where I knew what I was trying to do and some when I didn’t, but I went to each thing that felt like it needed to be there and expanded upon it until it came alive.”
On recent single, “Renegade Heart,” he builds a substantial emotional weight with just an acoustic guitar, some pedal steel and a voice that sinks down into the deepest parts of your heart. There’s beauty here and resilience, and the feeling of open fields and panoramic landscapes. The sense of pastoral wonder which he conveys with every strum and pluck is remarkable, rising in fervor until the song crashes over you in endless waves of shimmering tones and breathtaking melodies.