EP Review: dodie -‘Intertwined’

Ever since Dodie announced that she would be releasing her first ever EP, ‘Intertwined’, we have been dying to hear it. On Friday, November 18th, it was released into the world. The EP has already received an overwhelmingly positive response. In the U.K., ‘Intertwined’ charted in the top 5 on the iTunes Album chart, even with the competition of big names such as Bruno Mars and Little Mix releasing albums on the same day!

Fans are extremely proud of how far Dodie has come since starting on YouTube. They have been waiting for an EP from her for a long time, and now that it’s finally arrived, here’s what some of them have to say:

https://twitter.com/misslittlemafia/status/799866693401149440

Now let’s go through Intertwined track by track and tell you what we think! We have included all the songs that are posted on her YouTube channel, but we really encourage everyone to listen to the studio versions, as most of them sound quite different! Without further ado, here’s our review of Dodie’s ‘Intertwined’ EP.

1. Intertwined

The title track of the EP is a soft and intimate love song. ‘Intertwined’ discusses the hope that being in love with someone will fix your broken parts, even though that person is broken too. The idea of two people being intertwined in all aspects: physically, mentally, and emotionally, is a beautiful concept that Dodie created in this song. Aside from ‘Absolutely Smitten’ (which focuses more on the thrill of infatuation), it is the only classic love song on the EP.

The crackling and humming harmonies in the background, along with the simple accompaniment of a baritone ukulele, create a very intimate and dream-like vibe. Dodie also shows off her higher register in the middle of the song. It is a gentle start to the EP, and hints at some of the emotions addressed in later songs.

Best Lyric: “Can you drink all my thoughts, ’cause I can’t stand them”

2. I Have a Hole in My Tooth (And My Dentist Is Shut)

The first interlude of the EP is definitely the quirkiest of the whole collection. It was posted on Dodie’s channel earlier this year, but she definitely surprised everyone by putting it on her EP. The interlude talks about a predicament Dodie was in when (you guessed it) she had a hole in her tooth and her dentist was shut.

It is accompanied by a perky recorder melody that will make the song get stuck in your head and literally never leave, so listen at your own risk! It is by far the weirdest but lightest moment on the EP, a break from the heavier subjects in ‘Sick of Losing Soulmates’ and ‘When’.

Best Lyric: “I hope I’m still allowed two sugars in my tea”

3. Absolutely Smitten

This is the oldest song on the EP, posted over three years ago on YouTube. ‘Absolutely Smitten’ deals with the feeling of being young and completely obsessed with someone. The song almost has a nostalgic taste to it, as if Dodie is looking back on herself as a teenager with a massive crush. If you’re a longtime fan of Dodie, there is likely a secondary cause of nostalgia and sentimentality, since the energetic and cheery ukulele riff is actually the outro on most of Dodie’s YouTube videos. By far the happiest moment on the EP, we can’t help but wonder if it represents the happier times Dodie longs to go back to in ‘When’.

Aside from that, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how much this song has improved since the version posted on YouTube above! Dodie’s vocals are infinitely more confident and refined, and the additional percussion and background harmonies give the song a full, multi-layered sound. This song is best described as sweet, upbeat, and classic.

Best Lyric: “That girl just there yes she’s the one, with Cupid’s arrow in her bum”

4. Life Lesson

This is the second interlude on the EP. It is the only track that we haven’t heard at all before, and we were pleasantly surprised! Written in five minutes, the nature of the song reflects its subject of living in the moment. The mantra of “love, break, and learn” is a touching message that could possibly sum up the entire EP.

‘Life Lesson’ also can be interpreted as the counterpart to ‘When’, as both focus on Dodie’s tendency to look back to the past and her struggle with living in the moment. The difference in the tracks lies in Dodie’s perception of the past. In ‘Life Lesson’ she realizes she would ultimately be unsatisfied with living safely so she decides to live in the moment, while ‘When’ expresses Dodie’s desire to live in the past.

On a side note, we really appreciate Dodie’s decision to include these interludes on her EP! They definitely add some flavour to the collection and inspire a whimsical, spontaneous feeling.

Best Lyric: “Hurt whilst you can”

5. Sick of Losing Soulmates

This song is the first single from ‘Intertwined’, released about a month ago with the EP announcement. It is a quietly powerful song about friendship and the pain of losing someone who you once viewed as your soulmate. It is debatably the most relatable song on the EP, as most people can connect with the feeling of desperately wanting to keep the people you love close, whether it be friends, family, or a significant other. Dodie has said this song is about her best friend Sammy Paul, who helped her through a difficult time in her life.

The soft, emotional vocals and background harmonies are signature Dodie qualities that we often see in her original songs. The echoey production and rain sound effects create a rather somber atmosphere, to enhance the feeling of loneliness and desperation especially evident in the line “I’m sick of losing soulmates, won’t be alone again”.

Best Lyric: “Watch how a cold broken teen will desperately lean on a superglued human of proof.”

6. When (Live)

Dodie has often discussed her obsession with the past and wanting to go back to seemingly better times in her life. This song is her honesty pouring out about this situation and her struggles with “living in the moment”. It is the perfect song to conclude the EP with because it questions almost every song that came before it. “I think I’ve been telling lies, cause I’ve never been in love” contradicts the intimacy in ‘Intertwined’. “Everyone falls for the sunshine disguise, distracted by who they’re thinking of” squashes the energetic lust in ‘Absolutely Smitten”. It is an epic conclusion, a question of which emotions were real, and where Dodie should go from here.

The cello and violin accompaniment add beautiful harmonies to the song and give it a much fuller sound than we’re used to from most of Dodie’s songs. Dodie’s vocals are powerful and emotional, especially when her voice slightly breaks on the line “I’ll never be sixteen again”. It’s so impressive, it’s even difficult to tell that it’s performed live.

Best Lyric: “Memories painted with much brighter ink”

Conclusion

This debut EP is the tip of the iceberg for Dodie. She is only 21, and has an entire life ahead of her, surely full of stories to tell in her music. As we’ve said before, making the transition from YouTube to mainstream music is not easy. With this EP, Dodie has taken a step in the right direction and is surrounded by a community of supportive and loving fans. She has already hinted at a second EP coming soon, possibly featuring some original songs she has posted on YouTube, like ‘6/10‘ and ‘Would You Be So Kind‘.

‘Intertwined’ is an honest, thoughtful collection of songs that Dodie evidently poured her heart and soul into. Filled with both serious, introspective moments and lighter, catchy tunes, it is a perfect mix of songs that shows many aspects of Dodie as a person and songwriter. Her vocals demonstrate a quiet confidence with emotional investment. The EP also shows off her musical versatility, with a diverse assortment of instruments from ukulele to recorder to keyboard. Even if you haven’t watched her YouTube videos, this EP is definitely worth a listen.

Rating: 5/5

Congratulations Dodie, for the successful launch of your first ever EP! We can’t wait to hear more great music from you in the future! You can purchase ‘Intertwined’ on iTunes here.

What did you think of Dodie’s ‘Intertwined’ EP? What’s your favourite track? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.