The 23-year-old English singer-songwriter, author, and YouTube personality, Dodie Clark, recently released her 3rd EP, ‘Human’. Dodie Clark is best known for being a YouTuber. She has two channels, doddleoddle and doddlevloggle, where she posts covers and original songs, often singing with a ukelele. Her voice is unique; it’s soft and delicate, almost a whisper at times, yet so full of power and emotion that listening to her sing is bound to give one goosebumps.
Here is a track-by-track analysis of her new EP:
Track one: Arms Unfolding
The EP starts with a short one and a half minute long a cappella song. The song, Dodie explains to the audience during her 2018 tour, was written for her two friends who are “learning to fall in love with each other again”. Dodie instructed the audience to pick one of two notes to hum for the entire song while she sang over them. In the EP version, there is also another layer of harmony which she sings.
Track Two: Monster
Dodie debuted this song back in March during a performance in Belfast, Ireland. “Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who hates you?” she asked her audience before singing the song during the tour. Though the song is about hate and being viewed as a monster in someone’s mind, the song has such a catchy and upbeat feeling that you can’t help but dance along to it. The song starts off with electronic beep sounds, almost like those of a Gameboy, and then the rest of the song builds around it, with drums and gang vocals coming in towards the end. It truly is, as Dodie said in an Instagram story where she previewed a snippet of the song, a jam.
Track Three: Not What I Meant
This song deals with a topic not commonly addressed in songs: the struggles that come with being prominent in the digital world, such as overworking, staying true to yourself, and wanting validation. “You saw my number and my number wasn’t good enough” she sings, underlining obsessions with follower and subscriber counts. Being a Youtuber, these are issues that Dodie has experienced and talked about openly on her vlog channel. Dodie is joined by Lewis Watson, another fellow English singer-songwriter, and their voices dance together effortlessly to the strums of the ukelele.
Track Four: Human
Human, the title track of the EP, is beautiful in its simplicity; Dodie and Tom Walker’s voices are accompanied by the strumming of a single ukelele string at a time. The song starts with Dodie singing, and her gentle voice draws you in as if you have to lean closer to hear her secret. Then Tom’s voice comes in and blends perfectly with hers. The lyrics are sparse, which forces you to pay extra attention to all the artfully crafted lines, such as “paint me in trust” and “unzip your skin, and let me have a see.” Dodie says she originally thought Human was a love song when she wrote it, but looking back she realizes that it seems “obsessive and unhealthy,” and that there are “lines of desperation”. Regardless of how you interpret the song, it brings on a surge of emotions and is undeniably gorgeous.
Track Five: She
Dodie wrote “She” at the age of 17 when she realized she had a crush on her friend, but her friend was “very very straight, and [Dodie] was very very not.” The song is very sweet: guitar and strings play in the background while Dodie describes her crush with Tumblr-esque lyrics such as “she smells of lemongrass and sleep”, and “she tastes like apple juice and peach”. And then, in the end, she sings the most heartbreaking line: “but to her, I taste of nothing at all”.
Track Six: If I’m Being Honest
Dodie wrote this song in half a day because it just “poured out”. She describes it as being about “having a crush and therefore becoming a mess, and wondering how said crush will like this mess. Like the title suggests, the song is very honest and vulnerable. and many will be able to relate with the insecurities and nervousness that come with having a crush. “Could you love this?”
Track Seven: Burned Out
A darker song on the EP, Burned Out expresses feelings of guilt and pressure that come with having a large fan base, and people who look up to her. In the YouTube video titled, “Favorite Friend?” Dodie explains how she feels guilty of “how kind and sweet everyone is”. The song seems to be a battle between her inner struggles/self-doubt, and the positive words she gets from her fans, which don’t move her anymore because “words only get through if they’re sharp”.
‘Human’ is the calming album that we need right now. Dodie’s gorgeous and soothing vocals tell stories of love, pain, frustration. It allows us to take a moment to explore our own emotions, our vulnerabilities, and really– what makes us human.
Photo Credit: Instagram