The first single from dodie's third EP showcases the charm of her lyricism, accompanied by smooth, rich production and an eerie, captivating music video.
‘Human’ was first released as a YouTube video, posted by dodie, as ‘doddleoddle’, in 2016. Since then, the Essex-born 23-year-old has released two EPs, Intertwined and You, (debuting at 35 and 6 respectively on the official UK album charts), and ahead of the release of her third EP, Human, next January, the song has been revamped and released as a single.
In this rendition, dodie is accompanied by the deep, mellow vocals of Tom Walker, perhaps best known for his 2017 release ‘Leave A Light On’, as well as a mellifluous chorus of instruments alongside the original guitar. These additions soar, build, and fall around her warm, vulnerable vocals, leaving a crackling silence for the lines: “I want to give you your grin/ so tell me you can’t bear a room that I’m not in” – and she is at her most powerful when her lyricism is the focus.
On the surface, the song is a sweet confession of vulnerability, but a closer look at the lyrics offers a darker perspective. The line mentioned above, for example, may seem like a wish to bring joy to her romantic partner, but also implies that she wishes her partner to be happy only with her. The chorus line “paint me in trust” seems like a desire to be confided in, but the image of “paint” implies a wish for falsity, for him to “call [her]the one” without caring for the truth of it. The post-chorus realisation – “Oh, I’m so human / We’re just human” is a quietly celebratory expression of comfort; they are themselves around each other and do not need to be more. Simultaneously, the lines act as a sigh of resignation and frustration; their emotions are so deep yet so fickle, and she aches for things she cannot have, or at least not for long.
The music video, directed and produced by fellow YouTube artists Hazel Hayes and Sammy Paul among others, shows her build a man, who dances with her, reads with her, and is shown in bed alongside her, before he is discarded amongst the mounds of other men she has created and grown tired of. It perfectly captures the ache for intimacy and its fleeting nature, her wish for pretence and desire for something more, with the same charm they are explored with in the song itself.
Human is set for independent release 18th January. Watch the music video for the eponymous single below: