Dodie's New EP "Human" is Everything

Around four years ago, a song called “She” was released via YouTube by a young girl named Dodie Clark (known on the internet as doddleoddle). This soft, poignant, piece describes the asymmetrical relationship between Dodie (who is openly bisexual) and another, unnamed girl, whom dodie had a nonreciprocal crush on. As a young, closeted queer woman, this touching song became an anthem of sorts for me and countless others. “She” would become one of Dodie's most viewed videos and now, as of January 18, 2019, is just one of seven songs comprising her third EP titled, Human. 

Dodie’s musical style, while delicate and soft, has evolved into something magnificent and raw. Her first two EP’s, Intertwined (2016) and You (2017) provided her millions of fans a glimpse of her capabilities, showcasing her ability to write fun, pop songs with a genuine and often pained twist; her new EP Human is no exception. Each song is crafted with delicacy, every moment flowing seamlessly into the next, as she takes her listeners on a vulnerable ride through her mind. This seemingly quaint collection of songs brilliantly illustrate Dodie’s emotions and experiences, one by one growing and molding into a collective work of art. 

“Arms Unfolding” is the first song to grace the track list, starting off the EP with distant, echoing A Capella. This piece is centered around a dissonant harmonic hum, which holds steady throughout the entire song. In a video Dodie posted to her YouTube channel, she explains how the piece came to be, explaining she was “inspired by two friends who were learning to love each other again,” which lead to this short, haunting piece. Her voice echoes throughout the song, almost whispering at times, inviting listeners into the intimate moments portrayed in the song. 

The next song, titled, “Monster” is the most upbeat song on the album. In an interview/performance with Paper Magazine, Dodie explains this song is about a former friend, and the aftertaste of a relationship gone sour.  The song builds magnificently, each verse and chorus adding more intricate drum patterns and electronic noises. This bouncy, rhythmic track is sure to make you get up and dance. If you have the chance, check out the music video for this track, it won’t disappoint. 

The third track called “Not What I Meant,” features Lewis Watson, whose voice adds harmony and depth to counter Dodie’s delicate sound. This song was originally uploaded to YouTube, where Dodie was accompanied by friend Dom Fera, whose film, Content, inspired the track. The original version is stripped down, opposed to the EP version, which features beautiful strings and drums to steady the tempo. This track feels like a walk through an autumnal park, and believe me when I say, you will never want it to end. 

“Human,” the title track, sits smack in the middle of the track list and is my personal favorite of the bunch. Like many of her other pieces, this one was first uploaded to Dodie’s Channel on YouTube in 2016. At the time it featured Jon Cozart, whose voice fits perfectly alongside Dodie’s. On the EP, however, she is accompanied by Tom Walker, a Scottish singer-songwriter. The original version is, unsurprisingly, stripped down, having only one ukulele played by Dodie herself. The EP version brings new life to the simple piece, layering on drums and strings for a more full, open sound. In the same Paper Magazine interview from earlier, Dodie explains that the meaning shifted for her as the years went by, changing the song from one filled with longing and love, to an obsessive undertone. “Human,” although simple, is a stunning piece, filled with relatable feelings and beautiful harmonies and poetic lyrics. Dodie paints a picture, leaving her audience (including me) wanting more. 

The next track on Dodie’s EP is “She,” as mentioned before. This breathtaking song follows a steady guitar through beautiful string harmonies as Dodie tells the story of her unrequited love. The visuals in this song are visceral, inviting listeners to lose themselves to the story. And lose myself I did, seeing as I sobbed uncontrollably the first seven times I listened to this bitter-sweet piece of music. 

The next track called “If I’m Being Honest” was the second single released from Dodie’s EP. The song is centered around feelings of self-doubt, which stemmed, in Dodie’s case, from a crush on an unknown person. The lyrics to this piece are honest and perfectly placed, building a song that feels personal to each person listening. Dodie plunks along on the piano, accompanied by vibrant strings and soft drumming, as the song builds upon itself. The climax of this track is stunning, full of longing as Dodie pushes her vocals to the top of her range, slowly falling back into the final chorus, which builds to be something big, beautiful, and bright. 

The last song on this near-perfect EP is titled, “Burned Out” and was, again, released via YouTube a little more than a year ago. The song focuses on some heavy topics, as Dodie sings her way through painful, emotional lyrics, focusing on mental health and feelings of inadequacy. She utilizes a shift from minor to major chords, giving the song a very dualistic sound. This piece feels very honest, and Dodie herself has talked on multiple occasions about the darkness of the piece, admitting that a lot of the feelings associated with this song are difficult for her to talk about to her fans. It is a beautiful number, and a perfect ending to Dodie’s third EP.

Human is Dodie’s best work to date (in my very unprofessional opinion), each song expertly crafted, every moment purposeful and emotional. Dodie is an artist that doesn’t take her work lightly; she puts her heart into her music, and it shows. Her music is unique, and although soft and often quaint, each track on the EP embraces you, making you feel less alone and misunderstood. So, get your tissues ready, because start to finish, Humanis an emotional ride, one you aren’t soon to forget. 


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