Dodie Clark made magic again with her most recent EP, "Human." It's a musical journey that includes commentary on fame, mental health, LGBTQ love, and more.
I've been watching Dodie Clark's (AKA dodie's) YouTube videos for years, so I know her music pretty well. Her first two EPs ("Intertwined" and "You") were amazing, but "Human" is on a whole other level.
"Human" is dodie's most cohesive set of songs to date. Each song really encompasses the overarching theme of "Human," making listeners think about complex feelings that many humans face today. It applies to a wide audience while also reflecting dodie's own life story.
If you're not sure what I mean, here's my song-by-song take on the meaning of "Human." (Note: These are my interpretations of the songs' meanings. It could mean something different for you and that's totally okay!)
The EP opens with "Arms Unfolding," a song about someone rebuilding a relationship with an ex and finding it within themselves to forgive and try again.
What I especially like about this song is how blunt it is. Dodie sings "You know I could live without or with you / But I might like having you about," telling the ex upfront that she is fine without them, but she also thinks this relationship is worth pursuing again.
Then it moves on to "Monster," which is arguably the most compelling song of the whole album. With some electronic-sounding elements and a pop beat, you'd think it's a cheery song, but one look into the lyrics will tell you otherwise.
The song is about dealing with someone who hates you. Dodie sings about how someone has made her into a monster in their head and there's nothing she can do to change that. It's not until the bridge that she realizes that she has been seeing the other person as a monster too.
I've never heard a song before that has explored the theme of not viewing someone else as a complex person and making a monster out of them — especially not to such a fun beat (seriously, the song's a bop). It's fascinating.
Then follows "Not What I Meant," a song about the price of fame on the internet, such as only being valued for your numbers and not what you've got to say. Since dodie's a YouTuber, this song is relevant not just to her, but to many YouTubers in general.
After that is the title track, "Human.". And I honestly don't feel like I have much to say about this song because one view of the music video says it all. I think everyone has been guilty of trying to mold someone into what you want them to be, so the song hits hard.
Next comes "She," a dodie oldie song that's very close to my heart. I love how the studio version of the song doesn't stray too far from the original version that she recorded with just her guitar in her bedroom for YouTube.
The guitar and harmonies always stay soft and understated, while the words pack an emotional gut punch. The addition of strings just adds even more emotion to the song about dodie's unrequited crush on a girl, swelling with each emotional bit.
Then it continues to "If I'm Being Honest," a song all about having feelings for someone while also having anxiety and/or low self-esteem.
People always peg the "getting-to-know-you" stage of a relationship as the best part because it's "new" and "exciting." But many people don't realize that uncertainty can actually be horrible for people with anxiety. Sometimes you can feel disgusting and idiotic even when things might be going well.
It's a topic close to my heart and many others' since so many people deal with anxiety in some form.
Finally, the EP concludes with "Burned Out." Lately, burnout has been a huge point of conversation, especially within the YouTube community.
This song perfectly encapsulates the feeling of both doing too much and not doing enough. Dodie knows that so many fans love her, but doesn't feel worthy of their love.
Though YouTubers experience burnout on a bigger (and more public) scale, feeling like you're doing a lot of work and not getting any fulfillment out of it is a pretty universal human experience.
Overall, "Human" is an insightful look into issues not commonly sung about. Whether my interpretations are accurate or not, this EP really makes you think in a way that not a lot of albums out there do, so I encourage everyone to give it a listen!