Review: “Cool Girl” is consistent

Dodie stays true to her style in “Cool Girl”


Photo Dodie

The neutral and simple palette of Dodie’s cover for “Cool Girl” reflects her music’s soothing style.

Anna Woodward, Editor-in-Chief

Dorothy Clark, better known as Dodie, has been releasing heartfelt and relatable tunes since the 2010s. Getting her start on YouTube, Clark grew a fanbase that gravitated towards her honest and calming personality. Her songs reflect that same personable style. With the release of Oct. 19’s “Cool Girl,” she impresses listeners once again without straying too far from the style of her other songs.

“Cool Girl” reflects the same themes of the rest of her work: society’s pressure on young women to behave a certain way, not feeling good enough and pining for simpler times. The beat is calming and makes you feel like you’re bundled up, watching the rain on a cozy day. Dodie, who plays multiple instruments, is known to add an acoustic background to her songs, and “Cool Girl” is no different, encompassing a steady yet bold instrumental.

Clark has always produced songs that have simple instrumentals, which is important to note. I love this detail because it brings attention to her voice and lyrics, which is how Dodie allows herself to be vulnerable with her audience. Even more, her instrumentals complete each song but don’t define them, which I feel is something many artists struggle with.

In the chorus, Clark reflects the passiveness that can come with conforming and being “cool.” The lyrics “cool girl / I’ll be different / I’ll be quiet / I’ll be easy,” gives off a tone that creates sympathy, but doesn’t dispirit the mood of the song. I like this about Dodie’s music because it makes it versatile; I could go on a walk, study, or even cry to her songs.

During each chorus, the beat swells, going from a quaint and whispering tone to a charming one. I take this as Dodie being aware of the implications of being a “cool girl,” and taking control of her emotions, despite society’s expectations. It’s moving and makes you listen to that same part on repeat.

While this song is consistent, I noticed that Dodie sounds more confident in “Cool Girl.” When she sings about pining for a special someone, or comparing herself to others, she oftentimes sings with raw candidness, making her songs ones that anyone can relate to.

Likewise, Dodie retains that same style, yet sounds stronger in “Cool Girl.” It’s as if she is accepting how the world is but not letting it get her down. In combination with a fuller beat that doesn’t hesitate to grow, she is declaring instead of wondering.

In addition to strings and a thumping beat, there is a chorus in the back, accompanying Dodie as she reaches the chorus. It’s touching and makes you feel enveloped in the song. It sounds almost hymn-like, and stuck out as my favorite part of the song.

“Cool Girl” isn’t as explicit in its meaning in comparison to Dodie’s other songs, with titles like “Absolutely Smitten” and “If I’m Being Honest.” While it was weird to think more about what she’s saying, I liked this because it allows for listeners to interpret the song as they please. It’s almost as if Dodie is doing a favor to her fans by making this song more vague; now, they can make it even more personal than her other works.

At first, I took this song as “I’m not like other girls,” which is off-putting, and made me worried for how the rest of the song would sound. As I thought about it more though, I realized that I proved my point in the previous paragraph. By not including as explicitly meaningful lyrics, Dodie allows her listeners to be creative with her music, something that makes her even more personable, and a more down-to-earth musician.

Overall, I really enjoyed this song. I hadn’t listened to Dodie in a while, mainly because she hadn’t released much recently. Nevertheless, this single came at the perfect time, in the overwhelming midst of college applications and school. My only criticism is that after listening to “Cool Girl,” I don’t want to have to wait till March for Dodie’s next album.