Oxford duo dream phone mix pop kitsch with punk playfulness on ‘bad girls’.

The track is a sugar-rush tribute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer that revels in its own ridiculousness.

Words: Lloyd Bolton

Performing under the banner of ‘glitch pop’, Oxford duo dream phone (aka Hannah Watts and Jenny Bell) produce joyously idiosyncratic music built on immediacy, punk and play. Their melodies blend 2010s ‘Now…’ compilations with The B-52s at their most riotous. New single ‘bad girls’ is one and a half minutes of rock ‘n’ roll silliness, garbled through cheap autotune. Reminiscent of Public Enemy’s pursuit of the most annoying sounds they could find for It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, dream phone transcend the alienating mundanity of vocal processing by leaning into it. On ‘bad girls’, it serves as a force for chaos rather than a producer’s airbrush.

The song’s lyrics pay tribute to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, celebrating to Buffy’s relationship with Faith. The video is a perfect continuation of the music’s content, catching Watts and Bell performing karaoke-style projected onto clips from the show’s iconic club The Bronze. They contrast against clips of the aloofly cool record label darlings that performed on the show in celebration of their own music’s unapologetic digestion of pop culture. Referring to modern hyper-pop ridiculousness as well as older punk playfulness, the song is a swift reminder that music does not have to be contrived or overcomplicated to express something new. This second release from their forthcoming self-titled debut EP promises an original and knowingly kitsch delight.