PREMIERE: Dream Phone – ‘Bad Girls’

Having been completely blown away by Oxford duo Dream Phone when they played live for us supporting Me Rex last month, I was thrilled to hear they’ll be releasing their debut EP in May. Counting BBC Radio 6Music amongst their fans, and sharing stages with the likes of Cheerbleederz and Supermilk, the duo started off as a pop-punk guitar and drums duo, before transforming into the wonderful auto-tuned glitch-pop sensation that we know today – ready to unleash more of their utterly unique sonic delights to the world.

Taken from the EP, new single ‘Bad Girls’ offers a joyous ode to Buffy and Faith (from best TV show ever, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), celebrating friendship and discovering your “bad side” as Jenny Bell and Hannah Watts’ sparkling charisma and vibrant energy shine through. Showcasing the duo’s ability to combine quirky voice augmentation with infectious, synth-driven glitch-pop soundscapes, it harks back to the innovative layering and sampling of Kathleen Hanna’s solo Julie Ruin record; oozing a euphoric riot grrrl inspired drive, whilst maintaining Dream Phone’s trademark playful allure. Of the track, Jenny explains:

Bad Girls is about the excitement of making a new friend who has a big influence on you, and finding your partner in crime. When we’re not jumping around in Dream Phone, we spend a lot of our downtime watching Buffy – and in the ‘Bad Girls’ episode I love that Buffy is able to cut loose with her new friendship with Faith. We originally wrote the song as a simple guitar and drums pop punk song, and recently transformed it into this new glitch-pop sound”.  

Since the immense excitement of seeing them live last month, it’s in no way an exaggeration to say that I have not stopped thinking about Dream Phone (aka my new favourite band)’s wonderfully wacky and truly original offerings, and will be hitting repeat on the glorious hype-pop tenacity of ‘Bad Girls’ for the foreseeable future.

So, don your knee-high boots and wooden stakes, watch the new video for ‘Bad Girls’, and feel instantly better about life!

The self-titled debut EP from Dream Phone is set for release on 19th May via Divine Schism.

Mari Lane

Five Favourites: LibraLibra

Having just released their epic new EP, CUT, GIHE faves LibraLibra continue to impress with their utterly unique fusion of pop, electro and punk. Recent single, ‘Mother’s Ruin‘, for example, immediately hits you with the colossal, empowering grace of front woman Beth’s vocals as it builds with a swirling anthemic splendour. Reflecting on the process of healing from past traumas, its cathartic, emotion-rich power showcases the strength and determination that women are capable of – as the lyrics poignantly state, “girls who are beasts, we keep running…”

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspires them. So, to celebrate the release of CUT, we caught up with LibraLibra to ask about the music that has inspired them the most. So, read about their five favourite ever albums, and check out the immense video for ‘Mother’s Ruin’ below


Erasure – Wonderland 
Erasure introduced me to the world of singing. My parents had a completion CD they played once in the car, and apparently after that, I was hooked. I would starting chanting “Moogies Love Love Dance” as soon as I was strapped into my car seat (‘Who Needs Love Like That’) and they would have to play the CD over and over again the entire car ride; I would be giggling and wiggling and singing along as best as a first time talker could – it had both me and my parents in a chokehold. I think Erasure, combined with New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Tears for Fears and Seal, were particular stand outs – as soon as I could work a CD player I would take these CDS from my parents collection and spend hours creating musical dramatics in my bedroom. Each scene was developed using particular songs from these artists, with a strong theme of triumphing over hate and pain. I would never let anyone watch – it wasn’t something I was creating to show anyone, I was insanely private, but I would spend hours on my own dancing in my room to what I thought were these profound scenes of art! I guess I was a sucker for synth led, extravagant and emotive pop.

Madonna – Ray of Light 
Madonna’s Ray of Light album was a continuation of me hiding away in my room dancing and creating make believe. I begged my parents for this album – I had started to seek out my own music, first it was Enya, All Saints, and then I heard ‘Frozen’ on Top of the Pops, and I knew I needed this album in my life. This album stuck with me for a good few years; it got me through hard times – I was bullied at a lot at school for being overweight and I loved to dance, but it was only something I could do in private. With this album I would spend hours dancing and just losing myself. I must give a lot of credit to William Orbit who produced this album, there is an essence that he added in the production and instrumentation that just tugs at my melancholic heart strings. This album fully charged my obsession with pure pop emotive drama. 


Oneohtrix Point Never – Replica 
I’ve been listening to a lot of dismantled dance music/leftfield electronic stuff while making this record. People like Aphex Twin and Leon Vynehall making constant appearances in my rotation. But OPN was always finding its way to the front of the queue for me. It’s hard to pick just one album but Replica might have topped it. The sound design and world he builds sonically for this album really stuck with me and inspired a lot of the production on our new EP, CUT.


Beach Boys – Pet Sounds 
For me, one of my most inspirational albums has to be Pet Sounds. I know it’s an obvious one, but I can’t really over estimate how much this album opened my eyes to the power of arrangement. I love the harmonies and chord movements, not to mention its impact on pop music in general and everything it inspired. While this record doesn’t immediately seem like it is linked to our music, I think this was the catalyst for me starting to dive more into Brian Wilson and his inspirations which eventually led to studying Bach and other classical composer – something which definitely permeates our latest work. 


Radiohead – Kid A Mnesia (compilation) 
Radiohead are a band that have had an immense impact on each of us and these influences have manifested in varying ways on CUT. It’s difficult to hone in on a specific album, as the most influential thing about Radiohead for us collectively is the freedom they have to change and grow their sound. Radiohead are a band that clearly sonically push forward with each release in an attempt to cover (or should I say discover) new ground, as opposed to latching onto a formula that works and recycling it for safety, an ethos we also share. Musically, Radiohead are a band that understand the roots of harmony and they manage to incorporate influences from classical and jazz in a way that we have also started to play with more on this record while also going to the other end of the sonic spectrum, combining these more classical elements with the extremely modern sound of microtonal electronic weirdness found in the works of artists like Aphex Twin and OneohTrix Point Never. While I’m not sure CUT really sounds anything like Radiohead, there is a similarity in the way we try to fuse similar inspirations. The re-release of Kid A & Amnesiac in the guise of KIDAMNESIAC has been on heavy rotation in the writing period for this record and exemplifies a period of their writing where they had their fingers in all of those different genre pies: classical, jazz, rock and electronic – a range of influences which also permeates CUT.

Massive thanks to LibraLibra for sharing their Five Favourites with us!

CUT, the new EP from LibraLibra, is out now. Watch the immense video for ‘Mother’s Ruin’ here:

Video Premiere: Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something – ‘Huge’

Having received acclaim from the likes of BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq, Mojo Magazine and even comedian Stewart Lee, and now just being announced as longlisted for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, London psych rockers Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something have shared a poignant new video.

Chanelling the mindset of a child with ADHD, trying to make sense of a locked down world, ‘Huge’ is propelled by a chaotic energy, rippling with fizzing hooks as the swirling power of Jemma’s truly distinctive vocals soars. Building with a sparkling psychedelic allure to an immense, colourful cacophony, it showcases the raw emotive majesty that this innovative artist is able to create. An epic, frenzied anthem oozing a stirring visceral drive that’ll captivate on first listen. Of the track, Jemma explains:

The song is a dysregulated nervous system being forced to try and think, the world demanding an answer for questions too big for any brain to manage. I want to be non verbal, it’s Huge, I don’t really want to have to talk about it.

‘Huge’ is accompanied by a charming stop-motion video, hand-crafted by Jemma themselves, and perfectly depicting the meanings behind the song. Of the video, they explain:

I liked shifting the focus from the broad, dark themes of ‘Huge’ into a tiny, intricate, melodrama that was remote, introverted and distant from reality. A world apart, an escapist, lofi reality. Tiny moments of joy, a still space in a world made of forever moving parts”

Watch the brand new video for ‘Huge’, for the first time, here:

Mari Lane

Photo Credit: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Five Favourites: Calva Louise

Having been a big fan of international band Calva Louise’s fierce, sparkling energy for some time now (and even witnessing their luminous charm live across the pond in New York last year), I was excited to hear that they’ll be releasing a new EP later this year. Following acclaim from the likes of BBC Radio 1, BBC 6 Music and John Kennedy at Radio X, new release Over The Threshold will not only offer an insight into how the band’s distinctive sound has developed with a heavier, cathartic metal-infused rage, but will also be accompanied by the release of a third person video game produced by Stratera Games. An innovative move from Jess Allanic and co, inspired by her own love of Sci Fi and fantasy, which is also evident in the accompanying graphic novel the band created alongside their 2019 album Rhinoceros.

In fact, the whole upcoming EP is inspired by Allanic’s passion for story-telling and illustration – aiming to create a complete immersive universe through their sounds, as well as visually portraying the captivating world behind the tracks in the video game. And now, ahead of the EP’s release, the band have shared a fiercely riotous new single, ‘Feast Is Over’ – of the track, Allanic explains:

“When circumstances push us back to square one, we often think that the best thing to do is to start over. But when we choose to go forward, fighting and assuming the consequences of our own decisions, it feels like accepting a new challenge to get out of a loop once and for all.”

In a Five Favourites first, we’ve spoken to Jess Allanic about her passion for Sci Fi and how this has inspired not only the band’s new releases, but her work and love of storytelling as a whole. Read about her favourite graphic novels below, and make sure you watch the brand new video for ‘Feast Is Over‘ at the end of this feature.

James O’Barr – The Crow 
The Crow is to me one of the greatest graphic novels of all times. The anger and the injustice that you feel through the characters eyes made me try to have a deeper understanding of what the writer was trying to convey. The essence of the story is mainly autobiographical as James O’Barr put his emotions into paper with his drawings, and that catharsis encouraged me to try and do the same. Instead of imploding with my own thoughts, I wanted to put my beliefs into a graphic novel.

Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – Locke And Key
This is my favourite graphic novel. I remember the comic shop owner kindly let me read all the issues in the store before I actually bought them! Joe Hill’s story is awesome – it sucked me into this Lovecraftian universe, full of fantasy and horror, also reminiscent of Stephen King. Gabriel Rodriguez’s use of architecture in his illustrations inspired me to draw the buildings of Rouen in Rhinoceros (Calva Louise’s own graphic novel). If you love the comic, I highly recommend the audiobook, which I listened to while I was in the midst of drawing my own illustrations. I also love the fact that at one point in the story, the characters goes to see a Muse show and that one of the main characters looks exactly like Josh Homme!

Sean Murphy – Punk Rock Jesus
Just like James O’Barr, Sean Murphy wrote and illustrated this graphic novel himself. And again, what a story: Jesus is cloned for a reality show and is reborn as a punk rocker, refusing to be used as a weapon of control, so he starts his own punk rock band. I love Sean Murphy’s style and humour – he also uses a lot of his personal experiences and each chapter is inspired by a song, so thanks to his graphic novel I discovered so many amazing bands!

Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque – American Vampire
This comic was recommended to me by a comic store owner and I immediately felt a rush of inspiration through Rafael Albuquerque’s illustrations – they complement Scott Snyder’s story perfectly. And I loved reading about vampires in the Wild West.

Jason Aaron & R.M Guera – Scalped
Scalped was also an inspiration for me, not only for its illustrations but also because of the depth of the story. It tackles interesting topics such as cultural identity and organised crime in a fictional Indian reservation.The graphic style is incredible, blending watercolours and high contrasts.

Massive thanks to Jess for sharing her five favourites with us!

Over The Threshold, the upcoming EP from Calva Louise, is set for release later this year. In the meantime, watch the brand new video for single ‘Feast Is Over’ here!