Dodie – Hot Mess (RSD Vinyl)

Released – 2022.09.30
Vinyl – 2023.04.22

I am not real sure why Dodie put out another EP, Hot Mess, as a follow up to her first album Build a Problem. Following her online suggests that she writes well, a lot of music, feels like there would be plenty for a while album. I mean, yeah, there is some of it that’s kind of weird and a bit banal, but that didn’t seem like it held back her album. But here we are, with a fresh, 4 track EP.

I also want to take a moment to talk about this particular release, as I’ve picked this album up from the Record Store Day exclusive release version. I don’t believe it’s available on Vinyl otherwise, nor do I know if there are plans to release it later, but this release is a special translucent vinyl disk, and man it’s so very neat looking. I know this isn’t the first translucent disk ever released, but it’s the first one I have. This is the sort of thing I hope to, somewhat, limit my vinyl collection to, these neat special releases.

The album itself had 4 tracks total, 2 on each side of the record. I very much greatly prefer the tracks on side A, versus side B and it’s currently the album I have sitting on my turn table to just “push play” on occasionally.

Side A has Dodie’s last two singles on it, and similar to my complaints with Build a Problem, both of these tracks feel a bit more “complete” than the Side B tracks. The opening track is the title track, Hot Mess, it hits most of the “Dodie high points” with some wonderful harmonies and a subtle build up of some string based backing tracks. It’s quite nice and despite being a pretty short track, it feels about right on length.

The second track, Got Weird is the catchiest track on this EP. The hook is really nice and the lyrics on the whole are super catchy and clever. If Hot Mess is “Dodie doing music,” then Got Weird is “Dodie doing lyrics.” Though it does have this really incredible temp and time change shift near the end. Plus this, really weird video.

Side B starts out with Lonely Bones, a simple number that doesn’t push anything too ambitious but has a nice happy tone going to it. It wraps up with No Big Deal (I Love You) which is a super low key dreamy and quite beautiful song. Neither of these tracks are necessarily bad, which kind of feels like what I was implying above, I just, generally prefer more upbeat tracks in general. If I am going for this sort of mood, I’m more likely to go with something purely instrumental.

The EP itself is pretty good. Unless you really want the vinyl, I’d say it’s perfectly fine to experience it all through more, modern means as well. I will add that while Dodie isn’t necessarily my favorite artist, I really like how she structures her songs and incorporates the mixing in of a lot of less common instruments in this style of modern music. It gives her tracks a pretty unique sound. She also pushes a lot of emotion through her lyrics which makes it all very interesting to listen to and deconstruct.

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Linear Quotes: Aurora

Linear Quotes: Aurora by Ketil Mosnes

Just for establishment up front here, I am a big fan of the musician Aurora. If we’re measuring by scrobbles, which I like to do, she has very rapidly become my top scrobbled artist, of all time. But a pretty large margin. I saw this book posted by someone in a fan group on Facebook and it seemed like a pretty interesting, and probably less known bit of Aurora memorabilia, almost no one in the group was aware of it as far as I could tell. It’s also tricky to find, I had to order it from a bookseller in Norway. The book itself was pretty inexpensive, the shipping pretty much tripled the price.

Which is kind of the main negative, unless you happen to be somewhere that you can just buy this little book, it’s very very light on content. I don’t regret the purchase, but I was surprised that the book is much small is size than expected and roughly half of it’s few pages are photographs. The book itself is about the size of a manga book or a DVD case.

The book itself was written by a person who was able to travel around with Aurora’s crew briefly, though they aren’t really officially part of the grew. It contains a half dozen or so short interview excerpts and a bunch of photos. I will say, most of the photos are ones that I had never seen before, which was nice. Probably a side effect of the book being a bit of a lesser known artifact. There is a nice mix of behind the scenes photos and a few actual concert photos. They are a bit small though, given the size of the book, but it’s not like they are going to be torn out and displayed or something either. The photos themselves are clumped together in section, as opposed to mixed in with the text that relates to them, which feels like a side effect of using slightly nicer paper for the photo pages.

The real meat is the short interview parts. These are excepts from Aurora’s touring during 2016-2017. The writer also at least seems to be on pretty good terms with Aurora and it helps to give some fresh direction to the questions asked. It’s also worth noting for anyone not familiar with Aurora, she is, truly, absolutely, a unique and interesting person. There are plenty of in person interviews around on Youtube for examples of her all around oddness. She genuinely works to see the good in everything and to be good to everyone. The interview is dotted with lots of interesting takes on various things, I won’t go into detail on it all because well, that’s kind of the point of reading the book, but it’s definitely amusing at times, while sad at others.

I guess a good way to summarize it is to say she wears her emotions and herself not just on her sleeve, but on her entire self. If you’re a fan of Aurora, it’s certainly worth a read, and it’s a neat little book. I certainly enjoyed it, despite how short it is.

On another side note, the descriptions on this book suggest that “Linear Quotes” is a series, but as near as I can tell, this is the only one. Which is a bit disappointing because I would actually like to read more books like this.