Photo Credit: Rosie Alice Foster
Written By Chloé Sautereau
Often leaning a little left of center in her distinctive pop world, Dodie shifts gears with her latest single “Got Weird”.
Co-written and produced with British producer Peter Miles, who himself took to social media saying “not my usual fair but I like it!” the collaboration is filled with sonic intricacies.
Bass-driven, the track is rhythmically playful, guided by brassy thuds that meddle with a plethora of percussive ideas as Dodie’s delicate tone takes an almost sensual turn. “Babe, what’s the deal? Do you like me?” The singer-songwriter’s direct address in the lyrics is supported by how up close and in the listener’s ear, she feels in the recording. There’s something bolder, more deliberate in her breathy voice, as her acoustic pizzicato and cinematic strings are swapped for punchier sampled sounds.
While a little monotonous on the first listen – particularly compared to some of the English artist’s previous songs that like to wander up and down her register more – that perceived monotony reveals an eclectic set of layers. From jazzy piano descents to whispered background vocals, Dodie channels new energy that still feels very personal.
Indeed, this almost Billie Eilish-esque darkness weaves itself into Dodie’s usual musical tropes as an expansion of her sometimes already eerie folkiness. This piece allows for her music’s soothing nature to still exist and for both to come together brilliantly.
In “Got Weird,” Dodie holds on to her quirky lyrics. The imagery isn’t short of spot on, with the run-on drink reference “Do I down the gin, drink some water” that continues in the chorus:
“Poured a drink all over my wiring /
Short a fuse, all cylinders firing”
An effective metaphor for the sparks that fly while kissing somebody and the resulting short-circuiting emotions.
Over-sharing has never been a problem for the 27-year singer-songwriter, in fact, it might be what makes her music so endearing. From a “pep talk in the bathroom corner” to asking for “some nuts for the hostage” (while she talks to herself?) It’s in the way she says the word “fuck,” but then censors “kiss” in the same line. How she’s able to use “Things got weird when we made out” as a hook. And, as the title suggests it, the song is filled with self-conscious remarks that offer comfort in an unsettling way.
Dodie’s okay with being the outcast to her own herself sometimes (“You found another / God I’m my mother…”). Whispers are panned all the way to the left and right as she wishfully questions things the way one would under their breath: “It’ll be like a movie (maybe)?” But her form of innocence takes a more badass shape this time with her design of an increasingly mysterious atmosphere.
The tension doubles as the tempo are halved in the song’s bridge, poignantly refocusing the listener’s attention. “That’s the old me,” Dodie explains, justifying why the kiss she’s talking about all throughout the track might have made her “cry”. The section is a parenthesis; an analysis of her feelings as she plows her way past that encounter… One she’s self-conscious about, but wants to have to happen again: “Call me up again, I won’t get weird,” she promises.
The bridge’s heaviness makes the chorus even more welcome once it returns; she’s taken that awkwardness out of her system and is ready to pick up where she left off. It is somehow already remarkably familiar and addictive.
Showcasing a sensuality that is present instrumentally, vocally, and lyrically “Got Weird” cuts through Dodie’s usual angelic without losing its sense of naiveté. This song is earthier. It’s groovy, but it flows through with ease and makes it impossible not to bop your head to. So please, when it comes to the music, let’s keep it weird.
Dorothy Miranda Clark, whose mononym is known as Dodie, released her first EP Intertwined in 2016 and five years later, continued to expand her folky universe with the release of her debut album Build A Problem. With music that is acoustic forward and her voice light as a feather, the English singer-songwriter left space for what “Got Weird” now has to offer.