Taking a look back at Dodie’s second EP You
Dodie’s second EP ‘You’, continues to address real and raw issues whilst maintaining a very innocent and sweet aura. Her image and sound, which were first introduced independently on her YouTube channel, are very unique. Dodie explores unconventional music topics, differing from comfortable love songs, attempted one-size-fits-all break up songs or overtly sexualised lyrics and meanings that are primarily created to gain popularity among the top charts.
‘In The Middle’ is the first song to feature on the EP. The song acts as a creative outlet for Dodie to share how she explores different aspects of her sexuality, and mainly (however, discreetly) talks about having a threesome. The song is open and honest without explicitly saying its meaning. Dodie’s YouTube channel is a great source for finding out her thoughts behind her music and explaining meanings she primarily perceived her songs to have, and by having this channel she has already built up a following. This guarantees an audience for when her music was reduced, with fans already loving her sound and personality.
‘6/10’ is the next song to feature on the EP, the song is beautifully simplistic with piano backing the vocals. Dodie expresses the difficulty of not feeling like you are enough, even for yourself, with 6/10 being a rating that Dodie has given herself. The song addresses the repetitive and hopeless way that life can feel when you’re stuck in your own head. The song also features vocals that have been recorded by fans, this brings a sense of community and hope to people who relate to the lyrics. It is reassuring to hear that people can have very similar situations, and even in difficult times, people can unite and support one another.
‘Instrumental’ the only song to feature on You that does not have any vocals and is, funnily enough, purely instrumental. The song is only 50 seconds long and acts as a pause between the other songs on the EP, almost as a chance to reflect on the previous songs before the final 3. The piano and violin subtly imitate key parts from her other music whilst staying fresh.
The title track ‘You’ is a very upbeat and fun song, where she speaks about falling for somebody that she hadn’t planned to. Even through risky, uncertain moves that someone can make – you can still fall for them whilst telling yourself you’re not supposed to. Dodie questions why “the red flags just look like so much fun”, proving that sometimes people enjoy the unsuspecting and surprising element of falling for someone.
The issue of depression and mental illness is a main focus point on the track ‘Secret for the Mad’. It tackles really difficult issues about depression and acts as a glimmer of hope for any struggling listeners. Dodie says “I promise you, it’ll all make sense again” and “there will be a day when you can say you’re OK and mean it”. The song directly addresses “you”, and so several interpretations could be made; is she talking to herself from an outsider perspective? Or is she trying to address the listener who could be struggling? Or could she be talking about somebody she knows and speaking to them directly? Personally, I think the interpretation is one which is very interesting and can be used in lots of ways, making it very inclusive and meaningful.
The last song on Dodie’s EP is Would You Be So Kind. The song is somewhat a more conventional love song than her previous ones on the EP. It simply asks “would you be so kind as to fall in love with me”. It’s a very light-hearted way of expressing her love towards somebody and, whilst confessing her feelings, Dodie attempts to only briefly talk about herself and instead focuses on telling the ‘You’ figure to fall in love with her. The upbeat and soft ukulele and backing vocals pair nicely to give a calm and happy vibe to the track.
Personally, this EP is one of my very favourites. It tackles a lot of different topics; love, sex, sexuality and mental health, whilst also providing amazing lyricism and poetic explanations that somehow explain the most complex feelings in an incredibly simple yet descriptive way.
Words by Leylah Mae
Listen to the Dodie You EP in full below on Spotify