At just 25, dodie has already done a lot of living. Some of that has played out online as she made a name for herself as a singer and writer, amassing millions of fans with her disarmingly honest videos and affecting, intimate singing style. She has scored two top-ten EPs, headlined and sold out London’s Roundhouse, and the Hollywood Palladium and New York’s Terminal 5, and become an ambassador for Depersonalisation charity Unreal. It’s hard to believe she has yet to release her debut album.
But that’s about to change.
The track premiered as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World and the singer-songwriter launches with a video co-created with Sammy Paul, the concept based on the hope of becoming the best version of yourself.
“Hate Myself is an inner monologue of someone who seems to find themselves in relationships of any kind with people who deal with their feelings internally – unfortunately resulting in assuming the issue is with them,” dodie said.
The music video was filmed over the span of a few days in the beautiful seaside village of Polperro in Cornwall, and also a boat in London. “My video partner and the director Sammy Paul and I excitedly landed on the silly idea of the training leading up to becoming a post-lady, and thoroughly enjoyed planning the many bizarre exercises she would have to perfect. Our Art Director, Louis Grant, worked on bringing her home and training station to life. Though jogging on cliff tops in the rain, carrying a large sack and slipping in the mud was certainly cold and exhausting, I think I preferred it to slowly feeling sicker, licking stamps on a swaying boat by the Excel.”
“Build a problem” is a line pulled directly from the standout track ‘Hate Myself’. dodie found herself with a bit of a problem because she’d already named her previous EP, 2019’s top 5 Human, and the songs she found herself writing for the album really added up to the same idea; the flawed, emotionally erratic, wondrously complex conundrum that is being alive – and Human was taken.
But this line seemed to add up to a similar concept; the moments and actions in life that build within us all problems that we don’t even realize we have until we look back and go, “Ohhhh, that’s where that came from.” dodie, whose past is still infiltrating her present and her future, explores all of this and more on her musically ambitious and dreamily intimate record named – what else? – Build A Problem.
She wrote most of the songs on the album over the past two years. “I think I was going through a crisis actually,” she says now. “I was very unsure of who I was and I was trying to figure it out in music. So I think it’s quite unstable of an album – but it’s definitely honest.”
“I’d like people to come away from this album knowing what I can do” she says. A single listen to Build A Problem shows she has matured into an exceptional musician, using ancient modes, writing complex string arrangements and imbuing each song with a sense of charming intimacy.
By her own admission, dodie may be a work in progress; problems have been built, mistakes have been made, but with Build A Problem, she’s proven that she is an artist for the ages.
“Cool Girl is a song about misplaced anger,” says dodie. “Stemming from the suppression of communicating your needs in a relationship in order to attempt to be the most chill, cool, and loveable. It’s bitter, desperate, frustrated, proud, determined, and unhealthy.”
dodie – Build A Problem tracklisting
- Air So Sweet
- Hate Myself
- I Kissed Someone (It Wasn’t You)
- Cool Girl
- Special Girl
- Four Tequilas Down
- Before The Line
- Guiltless (Bonus Track)
- Boys Like You (Bonus Track)