dodie is at her most candid on 'Build a Problem'
“dodie has crafted a wonderfully simple yet intricate body of work.”
Essex-born singer Dorothy Clark, professionally known as dodie, released her highly anticipated debut album, Build a Problem, exploring humanity and how people come to be who they are. She started her music career through Youtube and has since amassed over 1.96 million followers. Her signature fashion of delicate vocals and diaristic writing gives listeners a unique look into the inner workings of her mind. dodie herself has said that Build a Problem is about “the problems [she builds] in [her] life and other people’s lives.” The album is split into two sections: the main work consisting of 14 tracks, and a B-side of demos that were written over lockdown.
Fans are captivated by dodie’s work due to her candid discussion of mental health, sexuality, relationship and more throughout all of her songs and this album is no different. Touching on all of those topics and adding in a dysfunctional parental relationship leaves dodie exposed to the world. Even though the majority of topics on this album are heavy and sometimes difficult to talk about, she opens the album with a note of hope. “Air So Sweet” describes a moment of being in love with the life you’re living before transitioning into the introspective “Hate Myself.” Her delivery during the song turns it from a more depressing tune to her finding humor in her thought patterns. “Four Tequilas Down” shows the songwriter at her most vulnerable, owning up to a mistake that she made in her past. Her songs swirl around you as her thoughts branch off into different paths, taking you on the journey with her.
While the first side of the album is clean and polished, the B-side demos are more representative of dodie’s songwriting process. With less pressure on herself to produce something pristine, these demos came out lighter than the main album, and helped her to embrace her creativity during lockdown. Even though dodie is already a stripped back artist when it comes to production and instrumentation, there is something even more intimate about hearing dodie with her ukulele or guitar singing these demos like she’s playing it to you for the first time. Her fans love getting to see all of the nooks and crannies behind her work, and this is no different.
When you take the album and the demos together, dodie has crafted a wonderfully simple yet intricate body of work. Her prowess in acoustic songwriting is clear to see throughout the 22 tracks and gives her a lot of room to grow as an artist and a lot of paths to go down. Whether she chooses to stay in her singer/songwriter field, or start to add some more production elements into her song, dodie will find success.
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