I’ve been following 21-year-old YouTuber and musician Dodie Clark, now know as ‘dodie’, for a couple of years. She has been uploading videos to YouTube through her two channels ‘doddleoddle’ and ‘doddlevloggle’ for just over five years which include a mixture of original songs, sketches, poetry, and general chit-chats – both solo and with her friends. She’s a pinafore-wearing, cat-loving, ukulele-playing young woman. Even though Intertwined is her debut EP, she’s far from being a beginner in the music industry.
Dodie has, naturally, been playing gigs for many years. Not only small hometown venues, but across the world. Recently, Dodie has returned from her second east-coast US tour with fellow musicians Tessa Violet, Rusty Clanton, and Jon Cozart. In June, she sold out four headline-shows at Camden’s Cereal Killer Café, of which I was lucky enough to attend. She’s played the Summer in the City stage multiple times, and is also one of the presenters of the Coke TV YouTube channel, which has seen her complete many challenges, including abseiling. This year, she’ll be embarking on her first UK tour.
Dodie’s success has grown from the exciting platform of YouTube. What is interesting about a musician coming from this platform is that they have a ready-made fanbase (over 700,000 subscribers). Looking at Dodie’s Spotify statistics, the cities who have played her EP the most are Berlin, Munich, Auckland, and London of course. To have such a global audience at an early stage in a music career is impressive. Such is the power of the internet. Dodie follows a line of musicians who began on the video-hosting website, including Bry, Christina Grimmie, Troye Sivan, and Orla Gartland.
Using YouTube, Dodie has been able to build a relationship with her audiences in a much more personal way. Speaking incredibly candidly about topics such as relationships, mental health, and sexuality, Dodie has given her audience a sense of trust and honesty, and they in turn are able to listen to her EP knowing what exactly has influenced her writing.
The title of the EP, Intertwined, not only refers to the title track but also signifies the intertwining of her past writing/making videos, and her music career, which has been her dream.
The title song is a lullaby of sweet lyrics of “breathing in” and “drinking thoughts”. It’s whimsical and daydream-like. The first half of the EP is definitely happy and romantic, the thoughts of a younger Dodie, and of many of us.
Following this is the perky interlude ‘I Have a Hole in my Tooth’, inspired by a real-life situation and this tweet:
It’s fun, silly and brings a sense of light heartedness to an EP which tackles some big issues.
Next is ‘Absolutely Smitten’, a nostalgic track for long-time dodie listeners as this was one of her earlier original songs. Again, it’s upbeat and happy, detailing the sudden infatuation of falling in love. It’s lovely to see this included on the track listing, as it harks back to the roots of Dodie’s writing, and it’s wonderful to listen to a studio version with added instruments and harmonies.
The second interlude, ‘Life Lesson’, is merely twenty-two seconds and serves as the transition between her happy, youthful ditties and her more grown-up songs which deal with the issues of growing up, broken relationships, the importance of friendship, and living in the past.
‘Sick of Losing Soulmates’, which debuted on her YouTube channel just over a year ago. The additions of the sound of rain, along with Dodie’s signature harmonies, create an intimacy and warmth as she sings about wanting to keep those she loves close.
The final song on the EP, ‘When’, focuses on Dodie focusing too much on the past and looking ahead to the future, instead of living in the moment. It’s a subject which I think is prevalent in many young people as we wish we could go back to something simpler instead of growing up, as shown by our love of ‘throwback’ posts on social media. This song is orchestral, including a cello and violin along with her keyboard, and feels like the album’s showstopper. It’s the song which definitely leaves you wanting to hear more from Dodie, and you can tell that this is only the beginning of bigger and more mature songs from her.
Intertwined serves as a collage of the many themes and genres that Dodie is dipping her toes into. A creative palette of ideas and styles that she is trying out to find the distinct sound of music she wishes to make. It’s wonderful to hear a new and refreshing singer-songwriter on the scene, and on top of that shows that YouTube is not all challenges and make-up tutorials. It is a platform which grants artists and creatives a chance to show themselves to the world – and just look what we’ve got from it.