Dodie Clark - 'Human' EP Review
From her artistic beginnings as a sixteen-year-old living in Essex with a small online presence, Dodie now has over 1.7 million subscribers and her new EP, Human, will be released officially on the 18th January 2019. The track list contains songs already debuted on her YouTube channel and from her Spring Tour earlier this year; the two singles that have already been released, ‘Human’ and ‘If I’m Being Honest’ reflect both her usual bittersweet, romantic style, plus a darker, more personal tone.
The brooding side to the EP is developed in both ‘Human’ and ‘Burned Out’. ‘Human’, first released on Dodie’s YouTube channel (‘doddleoddle’) in 2016, features Tom Walker and a chorus of instruments which, with Dodie’s mellifluous vocal style, build to create an atmospheric piece of music underlining the vulnerability and resignation within her lyrics. Through Dodie’s own discussion of the song, we see “desperation, obsession, co-dependency” in both the lyricism of the music itself and its eerie music video, depicting a woman’s creation of the ‘perfect’ partner and her subsequent boredom with what she has made.
‘Burned Out’ was released on YouTube in December 2017 and depicted the contrasting sides to Dodie’s reaction to fame; one pessimistic and unable to conform to the picture of perfection many of her fans place on her, the other grateful for the positive response to her music. This very personal discussion of her own music with her fans and viewers is one of the things that makes Dodie so likeable and puts her in a unique position as a songwriter. Her ability to place her own experiences within her songs, while making them ambiguous enough for fans to relate their own stories to, has been essential in her success as both a musician and a vlogger.
Alternatively, songs within the EP such as ‘Arms Unfolding’, ‘She’, and ‘If I’m Being Honest’ return to Dodie’s characteristic romantic motifs. However, they are in keeping with the narrative of the EP and none seem out of place; balancing minor and major tones. The deeply personal opening line of ‘If I’m Being Honest’ (“I was told this is where I would start loving myself”) links the song to ‘Human’ while retaining its individual themes.
The acoustic style of many of her songs brings a deeper, personal connection to Dodie herself, and with her continuous exploration of mental health issues, sexuality and romance, her authenticity is underlined as both an artist and a ‘human’. With the release of the EP and its UK tour (which visits UEA at The LCR on March 23rd), fans will see an interesting contrast to the music they’ve heard before. Human appears to be a carefully selected collection of emotional, reflective music with which there is very little I can fault.
Check out the single below: