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  • Karlee Skipper

Review: "Prototype" - Dani Stocksdale

With her sophomore single, Dani Stocksdale has once again knocked it out of the park with a relatable track about love, life, and heartache. “Prototype” details the gut-wrenching experience of falling in love while you are young, only for the relationship to end. Now every single subsequent relationship falls short. Stocksdale describes that no matter who she dates and how great they look on paper, they will never compete with her first love. The clever song title is a brilliant metaphor for this phenomenon. The chorus kicks off with the hook: “But you’re still the prototype.” She continues through the track, illustrating her inability to fully move on. As she reaches the end of the chorus, she sings: “What am I supposed to do// When you’re the one that I compare everyone to.” Then, she reveals the heartbreaking reality with the lyrics: “But I’m not that for you.” Stocksdale confesses that while her former partner is the irreplaceable prototype that has set the standard for all future relationships, they do not reciprocate this. Instead, they have moved on and do not give her a second thought. Stocksdale even admits that this is what she strives for and that she knows their relationship needed to end. And yet, she is still unable to let go. Throughout the song, her poetic lyricism eloquently describes this experience and serves as a cathartic outlet for not only herself, but also her listeners who resonate. With “Prototype” being only her second release, Stocksdale has already proven her remarkable songwriting talent and innate ability to captivate audiences with her authentic lyrics.

“Prototype” is a poignant track filled with bittersweet nostalgia that effortlessly tugs on the heartstrings of listeners. Stocksdale utilizes a gloomy, yet powerful production to bring to life the somber storyline. The song begins with soft synth sounds that draw the listener in before transitioning into a crisp electric guitar played finger style. Simultaneously, Stocksdale’s compelling vocals kick off the verse, guiding the audience through the melancholic journey. The pre-chorus picks up keyboard chords while the bass raises and lowers with a portamento technique. The chorus introduces layered vocals that are paired with a heavy reverb that is utilized on the entire production. Stocksdale sings in her higher register, enhancing the delicate, emotional atmosphere of the track. Then, she uses mesmerizing vocalizations in the post-chorus while the production picks up piano melodies that harmonize with the finger style guitar. The second verse adds a light beat and extra synth effects while the reverb maintains. Then, the pre-chorus mutes with only the beat and keyboard chords, drawing emphasis on the vulnerable lyrics. The second chorus and post-chorus continue to showcase the singer’s incredible vocal range while the reverb creates an empty hallway effect, providing an isolated ambiance to the song. As Stocksdale reaches the bridge, the audience prepares for the emotional climax of the track. The production softens, ensuring the layered vocals are at the forefront. The heavy reverb intensifies for the last line of the bridge: “Loving you is so damn tragic.” This effect helps pierce the heart of the listener as they contemplate the severity of such a deep line, before the song fades into the final chorus. The soft piano plays for the first few measures, before the full production returns to close out the track. “Prototype” flawlessly captures the essence of a broken heart through the beautiful production and solemn lyrics, solidifying Stocksdale’s path to inevitable stardom.

Dani Stocksdale is a 22-year-old independent pop artist based in New York City. She made her debut in August 2023 with her single, “Swimming Pools.” She aspires to create music that is authentic to who she is and tells a relatable story for listeners. With her insightful lyricism and honest vulnerability, she utilizes her personal experiences, from relationships to self-discovery, to connect with audiences. Stocksdale has performed at prominent New York City venues, such as Mercury Lounge, Baby’s Alright, Rockwood Music Hall, The Cutting Room, and Arlene’s Grocery. Listeners are sitting in anticipation awaiting upcoming releases from the new artist. Follow her on all socials to keep up with future projects!

Written By Karlee Skipper



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