Oxford duo dream phone channel the sugar rush on debut EP.

The ten-minute collection is irresistibly fun and inspiringly open to all manner of influences.

Words: Lloyd Bolton

From the first note of ‘dream phone’ by dream phone there recurs one insistent thought: “Yes, yes, yes.” After a robotic count-in, ‘Strut’ locks into a gliding groove, growing into a sparkly homemade party starter. Though humble about their process – which they told us involved indulging “sillier ideas” and making time for “snacking and TV breaks” – dream phone have created a complete package, a world to get lost in. Their soundscapes are epic, undercut by knowingly ridiculous autotune vocals and an infectious enthusiastic energy.

Musically, the EP is joyously overstimulating, the artificial vocals playing against inherently exciting synth flares and bouncing bass arpeggios. The style centres on a kind of DIY hyperpop-inspired the band describe as ‘glitch pop’, but encompasses a huge range of musical touchstones. The euphoric ‘one, two, three’ of the chorus of ‘bad girls’ is pure Le Tigre. ‘hell’ swirls around like an air dancer before zeroing in on a chorus that feels like a choked version of a mid-2000s pop song. There is even something of The Cramps in there, as dream phone adoringly mutilate pop culture of years gone by. These are modern pop songs at heart, undercut by ironic lyrics, a charmingly obnoxious mangled vocal sound, and elemental synths. The collection is just under ten minutes long and, appropriately, leaves no room for anything but the most essential, instantly gratifying moments.

dream phone is an expression of uninhibited joy and pure punk attitude, coloured by contemporary sense of the fine line between bingeing Buffy and living out a popstar fantasy. Their EP welcomes us into an exciting new world, unapologetically immediate and strangely familiar, composed as it is of a collage of pop references, chewed up and spat out in the wrong order. Irrepressibly energetic and inspiringly open to all manner of influences, it is an outstanding debut.