Dodie Clark (or dodie with a lowercase ‘d,’ her stage name) is a sunny, ukulele-playing Youtube musician well on her way to mainstream success. Her second EP, ‘You’ is an eclectic mixture of indie pop tunes and vulnerable piano ballads, showcasing the Londoner’s artistic range. With over one million subscribers on her Youtube channel, “doddleoddle,” where she shares original music and chat vlogs about her life, Dodie has already built a loyal fan base, but her new tracks come with studio polish and bold song-crafting and are sure to reach a much wider audience.
The album opener, “In The Middle,” is a departure from the singer-songwriter’s typically soft and sweet love songs. Instead, she sings sassy pop number about a threesome. As she says in a vlog, “This song, is because both of my exes were bisexual and I thought it would be funny to write a song about an imaginary threesome. It’s not a fantasy, it’s not like I wrote it because I wanted it to happen, I just thought it was funny!” And it is certainly funny; with lyrics like “I’ll be in the middle while you two get along,” and “You’d have so much in common/ Talk about your taste in women,” you can’t help but laugh and sing along. The song shines with spunk and creativity, which Ms. Clark has in abundance.
The six-song EP is full of standouts, ranging from the contagious energy of “In The Middle” to much more sentimental moments, such as 6/10, a song about feeling lonely and lacking the confidence to be yourself around others. Dodie even includes a fifty second piano composition, simply titled, “Instrumental,” a whimsical yet delicate piece that highlights the range of her talents. The album serves almost as a resume, covering the extent of her musical prowess. However, there is also a subtle theme that emerges as you continue to listen. Each song is a carefully crafted snapshot of Dodie’s brain in a turbulent time in her life, capturing the spectacular highs and heartbreaking lows. She focuses specifically one two areas: a painful breakup and her struggle with mental health, which she openly shares with her fans on social media. The intimacy and authenticity that Dodie shares online also bleeds into her music, making “You” Dodie’s most personal, honest work to date.
Dodie’s artistic vulnerability is perfectly captured in the song “Secret for the Mad.” The song itself is very simple, beginning with a single piano note played consecutively behind Dodie’s soft vocals. As the song grows, it relies on layered harmonies, appropriately reminiscent of a church choir. This track is a message to all the lonely souls who might be listening to just hold on, penned by someone who understands how isolating mental illness can be. Dodie manages to be uplifting and optimistic without being cheesy, which comes from careful songwriting and pure intentions. She concludes the song with the line, “I promise you it will all make sense again,” a simple, yet powerful statement that ties the piece together. This is where Dodie shines brightest: pinpointing complicated feelings and working through them musically to create something beautiful and relatable.
As Dodie continues to work toward the difficult transition from Youtuber to mainstream musician, she will continue to melt hearts and gain support through her message of resilience and authenticity. If her social media numbers and stream counts are any indication of what is to come, Dodie is soon to charm her way to the top of the music industry.