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.