EP: Dream Phone – ‘Dream Phone EP’

Fuelled by snacks, Pepsi Max, and 100 gecs on repeat, Oxford glitch-pop duo Dream Phone – aka Hannah Watts and Jenny Bell (last seen ‘caught in the act of looking weird’ as half of Junk Whale) – get ridiculous for their DIY debut extended play with ten minutes of synth-driven hyper-pop melodies and pitch-shifted lyrical pandemonium!

Opening with the infectious one, two, three, four, ‘strut’, Dream Phone sparkle with an off-kilter electronic groove (“If you can’t find me in the dark / I’ll be here by the searchlight”) before exposing us to the extreme temperature of their own personal ‘hell’; a hot mess of obnoxiously upbeat noise and auto-tuned self-destructive attitude: “I can do what I want now / It’s none of your concern / Gonna cut my hair short / Because I’m not really listening to / What you say what you say what you say!”

Piercing your heart with a wooden stake, the ‘bad girls’ sink their fangs into riot grrrl for this next track, taking inspiration from Kathleen Hanna’s Le Tigre and Julie Ruin, and transforming their already unique pop sound into something otherworldly. Dream Phone’s ode to Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a celebration of friendship and “finding your partner in crime”; a euphoric glitch-pop beatdown for the BBC 6Music generation. “Going to the club / Dance up on some hunks and / Maybe kill some monsters / Or crash a cop car!”

Deliberately artificial in its production and sound, ‘no’ is an “anti-people-pleasing” pop anthem for those of us who struggle to say fuck “no” (“You ask, I sigh but I agree / You can always count on me / I will lie on the ground for you / You can wipe your feet on me”); opening with an electronic blast beat before glitching out into synth cyberspace! Closing their self-titled EP with ‘i don’t want to talk to you (at the show)’, the dreamy duo set boundaries and get anti-social: “Clinging to my beer / Everything’s too loud in here / I can’t concentrate / On what you’re shouting in my ear.”

Dream Phone ooze hyperactive energy, enthuse an ethos of DIY disorder, and, throughout their wonderfully eclectic debut EP, occupy the brain with vivid musical imagery.

The debut EP from Dream Phone is out now via independent record label Divine Schism. Buy on bandcamp now.

Ken Wynne

PLAYLIST: May 2023

The Get In Her Ears team have put together another eclectic mix of indie & alternative anthems, grungy guitar riffs, alt-pop gems and electronic tunes for your listening pleasure. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you press play on the playlist at the end of this post.

Follow GIHE on Spotify to hear all of our previous playlists too.

Le Tigre – ‘My My Metrocard’
The GIHE gang are finally seeing Le Tigre live in London on Saturday and we CANNOT wait to dance together in raging, cathartic bliss! Although I’ve been lucky enough to see Bikini Kill and The Julie Ruin live, it’ll feel extra special seeing Kathleen Hanna, JD Samson and Johanna Fateman reunited – Le Tigre were my ‘gateway’, if you will, to all things Riot Grrrl, hearing them regularly in the local indie club I’d visit throughout my teens during the early noughties, before delving into what came before. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking about it! (Mari Lane)

pink suits – ‘pink suits everyone’
Having had the pleasure of hosting Margate punk duo play for us at a couple of gigs over the last two years (supporting Problem Patterns and ARXX), we’re excited to welcome them back to The Shackewell Arms on 22nd June. It’s going to be extra special, as this time they’ll be headlining in celebration of their upcoming album, Dystopian Hellscape. Support from Chuck SJ and the Rose Quartz Rebellion and Breakup Haircut. Grab your tickets here! (ML)

GENN – ‘ A Reprise (That Girl)’
Long time GIHE faves GENN with their latest single. ‘A Reprise (The Girl)’ showcases all there is to love about the Anglo-Maltese quartet; with their trademark funk-fuelled sound and fierce energy, it’s an immense angst-driven anthem. (ML)

INDIGOS – ‘Drug Dealer, Faith Healer’
I’m a big fan of this track by Bristol-based band INDIGOS. Taken from their upcoming EP, IN UTOPIA, which is set for release on 21st June, ‘Drug Dealer, Faith Healer’ draws parallels between drug use and organised religion, comparing the ritualistic natures of both.
(Kate Crudgington)

HotWax – ‘Rip It Out’
The latest single from Hastings teenage grunge trio HotWax, taken from their debut EP, A Thousand Times. I’ve probably played ‘Rip It Out’ a thousand times? It’s a riotous anthem about ripping out your contraceptive implant. I interviewed the band before their gig at The Lexington back in April and we spoke about this track and more. Read the full piece here. (KC)

Fraulein – ‘Big Cool’
Self-described as “a wild ride, a bit screamy, very big & very cool,” I love this new anthem from GIHE faves Fraulein. Joni & Karsten continuously impress all of us with their brooding, grunge-infused noise and ‘Big Cool’ is no exception. It’s taken from their upcoming EP, Pedestal, which is set for release on 30th June. (KC)

CHROMA – ‘Woman To Woman’
Having wowed crowds at SXSW and Focus Wales this year, and with a debut album set for release later this year, Welsh rockers CHROMA rally in support of people of minority genders in immense latest single ‘Woman To Woman’. Calling out those who call themselves feminists whilst actively oppressing others, it races with a fierce energy, blasting out the poignant message that “Trans Women Are Women” with a searing sense of urgency. (ML)

My Ugly Clementine – ‘Are You In’
Described as “a reminder to jump in, be assertive and to go with the flow”, I love this track from Vienna-based three piece My Ugly Clementine. Are You In? is taken from their upcoming album, The Good Life, which will be released on August 11 via BMG. The band are coming over to the UK to play a show at the Old Blue Last in Shoreditch on 8th October, so grab a ticket if you like what you hear. (KC)

Touch Excellent – ‘Record’
A tenacious anthem that takes aim at the failures of the healthcare system when it comes to treating women, non-binary and transgender folks, this is the debut single from Touch Excellent. Playfully self-describing themselves as “Ireland’s most transgender band (surely)”, Touch Excellent create raw, frenzied, politically-driven cacophonies that are designed to dismantle the systems that oppress us. ‘Record’ is inspired by the band members own experiences with the medical system, the recent Cervical Check scandal in Ireland, and the ongoing fight for reproductive rights around the world. (KC)

Cumgirl8 – ‘cicciolina’
I missed New York four-piece cumgirl8 when they played The Great Escape earlier this month, but their catchy, chaotic sounds have been ricocheting around my head anyway. ‘Cicciolina’ is a snapshot of what the band are all about, as they explain: “Cicciolina is an Italian icon, porn star and former politician that was elected to parliament in the 90s. She advocated for human rights and the eradication of nuclear weapons. Cicciolina said ‘make sex not war’ and used her divine power of femininity to troll the status quo while disrupting it from the inside. We feel her ideals are foundational to the cumgirl8 philosophy of subversive change, peace, and strength in vulnerability. We hope she loves our song, we love her very much. Cicciolina is cumgirl1.” (KC)

The Black Isle – ‘Jewel Box’
Bonding over a shared love of grunge and pop, Yorkshire-based band The Black Isle create fuzzed up, melodic guitar tunes. The band released their new EP, Vagus Nerve, today (31st May), so if you like the sound of ‘Jewel Box’, you should check it out here.(KC)

HAVVK – ‘Daylight Robbery’
I was super excited to hear about the return of total faves HAVVK! They played the first ever gig we hosted back in 2016, and have continued to charm us with their rich ethereal power ever since. ‘Daylight Robbery’ offers a grittier sound from the Irish duo, reflecting on the safe spaces we create for ourselves and the exhaustion and fear we can feel when these are invaded. A fierce anthem oozing the band’s trademark, cathartic rage and captivating grace. (ML)

Trout – ‘Gutter’
I love this bittersweet anthem from the excellently named Trout. The Copenhagen-born, Liverpool-based musician has just signed to Chess Club Records and returned from playing The Great Escape Festival, so 2023 looks set to be a great year for her. ‘Gutter’ is a tongue-in-cheek response to those who doubt what it’s like to live with depression, explored via grungy riffs and Trout’s layered vocals. (KC)

Ezra Williams – ‘Until I’m Home’
This is a tender offering from Irish non-binary musician Ezra Williams, taken from their debut album, Supernumeraries, which is set for release on 16th June via AWAL. Speaking about the track, Ezra explains: “I wrote this song on the train home from hanging out with my girlfriend at the time. I overthink everything, and cannot be left alone with my own thoughts for a second, or I’ll feel like the world is collapsing in on me.” We love Ezra’s music here at GIHE and look forward to hearing their debut record in full. (KC)

Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra – ‘Empty Envelope’
Mari has booked Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra to headline our Get In Her Ears gig in October and I am SO. EXCITED. They were recommended to me by Irish musician Fears a while ago, and I’ve had this track ‘Empty Envelope’ on repeat since then. Please grab a ticket to come and see them live at The Shacklewell Arms. We can have a little cry in the front row when they play it (disclaimer: this is optional). Tickets are cheaper in advance and available via DICE here. (KC)

Midwife & Vya Melinkolya – ‘Hounds Of Heaven’
I am obsessed with Midwife & Vya Melinkolya’s collaborative EP, Orbweaving, which they created during the time they spent together in the deserts of New Mexico where Midwife is based. From nights spent “herping” on empty roadsides looking for rattlesnakes, roadkill and spiders, to meaningful days in the studio, Orbweaving captures a moment of melancholy and metamorphosis for both artists. It’s one of my favourite EPs of the year so far. (KC)

JFDR – ‘Life Man’
‘Life Man’ is taken from Icelandic musician JFDR’s third album Museum, which came out at the end of last month. JFDR says “The song is about one of those moments; when you get a second to breathe and an overwhelming wave of existentialism hits you in the face.” Kate caught her set at St Mary’s Church in Brighton as part of The Great Escape Festival, which you can read all about here. (TW)

SOLE – ‘en och en’
I have Kate to thank for discovering this tack! It comes from SOLE who is a Swedish artist, music producer and songwriter. This track is taken from her upcoming second album. I love the calming nature of it, with beautiful vocals that make you feel like you’re being lifted up by the music, transcending into a better place. (TW)

Headboy – ‘Cement’
London trio Headboy’s latest release, taken from their upcoming debut EP, Was It What You Thought?, which is set for release on 9th June via Blitzcat Records. This track focuses in on the significance of friendship amidst a backdrop of bright, intricate indie-rock. Speaking more on the lyrical inspiration behind ‘Cement’, the band said: “In the heat of a turbulent summer, misrule reigned. ‘Cement’ is about taking stock and refuge in the comfort of your friends and the people around you; and the rediscovery of friendship. It includes advice from lyricist Mars West’s grandfather – ‘don’t count the days it slows them down’ – a warning against wishing away life.” I’m looking forward to hearing the EP in full! (TW)

The Orielles – ‘Tableau 002’
Having just released their experimental new EP, The Goyt Method – an innovative re-working of last year’s album Tableau – long time faves The Orielles continue to showcase their insightful and sophisticated songwriting, and ability to create exquisite, avant-garde soundscapes. Find out more about the intriguing processes and techniques used to put the EP together, as well as reflections on memorable live shows and being women in the music industry, in our recent interview with Sid and Esmé from the band! The Goyt Method is out now via Heavenly Records. (ML)

DEWEY – ‘The Janitor’
This is the latest single from previous guest on our Soho Radio show DEWEY. ‘The Janitor’ is serving those wonderful otherworldly soundscapes that DEWEY does so well. I particularly love the catchy guitars and rhythms on this track, it’s got a real groove to it. DEWEY will be playing a free gig at East London’s Jaguar Shoes on the 1st June. (TW)

Lauren Auder – ‘we2assume2many2roles’
An intriguing exploration of the contradicting nature of human experience, I’m a big fan of this single from British-French artist Lauren Auder. Co-produced by GIHE fave Jessica Winter, mmph, Alex Parish and Auder herself, ‘we2assume2many2roles’ is a hazy alt-pop gem that marks an exciting new direction for the songwriter. (KC)

CATBEAR – ‘I’ll Meet You At The End’
London duo CATBEAR with their latest single. A ‘love song for the apocalypse’, ‘I’ll Meet You At The End’ reflects on the power of connection, even in the darkest of times. With its soaring, blissful allure I can’t get enough of this shimmering, immersive soundscape. (ML)

Softee – ‘Isn’t Enough’
The latest single from Brooklyn based artist Nina Grollman aka Softee, ‘Isn’t Enough’ showcases her ability to create sparkling alt-pop soundscapes with a stirring, heartfelt emotion. Oozing a glistening, immersive splendour throughout, her new debut album Natural explores complex themes of identity and transformation with a soulful, uplifting energy. (ML)

Ruti – ‘Luh Luh Love’
I had the total pleasure of catching Ruti on the first day of The Great Escape in Brighton earlier this month, and their vocals blew me away. I totally love this track of theirs ‘Luh Luh Love’. There’s such a gentle sweetness to it and a lovely depth and tone to Ruti’s voice. Feel good vibes. (TW)

Charlotte Carpenter – ‘Spinning Plates’
The first taster of Charlotte Carpenter’s upcoming debut album, ‘Spinning Plates’ offers a poignant reflection on the power structures and misogyny within the music industry. I’m a big fan of the impassioned blues-soaked splendour of this striking call to arms to fellow women and marginalised groups within the industry. (ML)

Carpenters – ‘Yesterday Once More’
Just wanted to play a Carpenters song as I was lucky enough to interview Lucy O’Brien recently about her new book about legendary artist Karen Carpenter. Lead Sister is a truly moving account, recalled with stirring empathy by Lucy – whilst not ignoring the sadness of Karen’s story (one which can be quite affecting, especially for anyone who has personal experience of eating disorders), it highlights Karen’s voice, her strength of spirit and passion for what she loved (like drumming!) (ML)

LISTEN: GIHE on Soho Radio with Cheri Percy (29.05.23)

Tash and Kate were back on Soho Radio’s airwaves playing loads of new music from some of their favourite female, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ artists! Mari offered some of her “musical musings” too. The pair talked about their highlights from The Great Escape Festival – which included spotting Courtney Love – and how much they collectively love Hypsoline after they headlined the latest GIHE gig at The Shacklewell Arms. They also enthused about the eclectic mix of tracks on the playlist, including ARXX, Ezra Williams, Touch Excellent, HotWax, GENN, SPIDER, CATBEAR, DEWEY, Midwife, Brutus and more.

Tash also caught up with author and journalist Cheri Percy to talk about her new book Come Away With ESG. Inspired by the story of ESG – one of the most under-rated and influential bands in electronic music – Cheri penned the book which features interviews with founding member Renee Scroggins, alongside cult-figures from 1980s New York and North England. Tash and Cheri spoke about all this and more. You can buy your copy of the book here.

Listen back to the radio show below:


We’ll be back on Soho Radio on Monday 26th June from 12-2pm!

ANOHNI and the Johnsons – It Must Change
Hypsoline – With You Gone
ARXX – Ride Or Die
HotWax – Rip It Out
GENN – A Reprise (That Girl)
INDIGOS – Drug Dealer, Faith Healer
SOLE – en och en
Headboy – cement
Heff Vansaint – Ladder Rungs
BRUTUS – Brave
My Ugly Clementine – Are You In?
Aldous Harding – The Barrel
Ezra Williams – Until I’m Home
Janelle Monae – Lipstick Lover
jellyskin – bringer of brine
**Interview with Cheri Percy**
ESG – The Beat
DEWEY – The Janitor
CATBEAR – I’ll Meet You At The End
Midwife & Vyva Melinkolya – Hounds Of Heaven
Charlotte Carpenter – Spinning Plates
Carpenters – Yesterday Once More
SPIDER – Growing Into It
Touch Excellent – Record
pink suits – Fake Great Britain
Hole – Awful

Five Favourites: SOFTEE

Having just released her debut album, Brooklyn based artist Nina Grollman – aka Softee – creates sparkling alt-pop soundscapes with a stirring, heartfelt emotion. Oozing a glistening immersive splendour throughout, Natural explores complex themes of identity and transformation with a soulful, uplifting energy.

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 Natural, we caught up with Softee to ask about the music that has inspired her the most. So, read about her five favourite songs, and make sure you check out the album, and watch the beaut new video for latest single ‘Isn’t Enough‘ below...

Stevie Wonder – ‘Summer Soft’
The first time I heard this track, I was nine years old. My mom played it in the car. I was so into all the key changes and the build of the song. I’m obsessed with Stevie’s voice. As I grew up, my appreciation for the song deepened. For years I thought he was singing about a past relationship. When I finally looked up the lyrics, I realized it’s about the seasons, and aging. It makes me so emotional when I hear it now, because it’s so full of passion and fervour, and it’s about getting older and time slipping by. The dichotomy of these two concepts is so rich. Stevie can truly write about everything and make it timeless.

Charlie XCX – ‘Sucker’
Let me explain. I know this isn’t Charli’s best song, but it’s extremely important to me. The year is 2014, and one of my best friends had an extra ticket to the Bleachers concert in Minneapolis. Charli was co-headlining the show, but I had no idea who she was. I barely even knew Jack Antonoff but I went cause duh, free ticket. Charli comes onstage in Adidas pants (BEFORE they were super trendy) and sports bra, with an inflatable guitar and sunglasses. She has an all girl band. She opens the set with ‘Sucker’. Something in me completely shifted. I was like “oh, THIS is a fucking POP star.” I didn’t know pop could be grunge??? For that album, she was influenced by the Shangri-Las and super cool underground ’90s pop. I was obsessed with her energy and the set brought me an adrenaline high I don’t think I’ve ever topped at a show. To this day I hear this song and I get butterflies.

Robyn – ‘With Every Heartbeat
I think my favourite Robyn song changes daily, but today it’s this one. The strings. The simplicity of the beat. This song completely hypnotises you while ripping your heart out of your chest. It’s hopeful while reckoning with the fact that the relationship is over. Robyn is a genius, and one of my biggest influences. I love how simple and powerful her songwriting is. She is endlessly innovative. Her chords and melodies make me want to cry.

La Roux – ‘Automatic Driver’
When this song came out I listened to it on loop for ages! It’s so danceable and fun. A perfect song to walk to on a sunny day when you’re in a good mood!

Little Dragon – ‘Another Lover’
This is me and my fiancé’s song. It’s so infectious, from the melody to the production, to Yakimi Nagano’s vocals, to the driving bassline. This song has it all. I’m a major Little Dragon fan. Their electronic-pop-rnb fusion is so singular to their sound. I am very inspired by it. 

Massive thanks to Softee for sharing her Five Favourites with us! Watch the video for latest single ‘Isn’t Enough’ here:

Natural, the debut album from Softee, is out now via City Slang.