“Don’t judge me by my waistline, judge me by my unseen dreams / I’m the cat that got the cream,” sings 21-year-old Hannah Clark - otherwise known to the Internet and beyond as dark-pop princess FOE– on ‘Ballad for the Brainkeepers’, the opening track to her debut album Bad Dream Hotline. The next 40 minutes that follow this woozy, delicate introduction are teeming with chunky riffs and spazzy synths that meet up to hang on a street corner at midnight, sporting their latest goth fashion and raising their middle fingers to pop’s current mainstream heroes such as Florence + the Machine and Lana del Rey.

Whilst the latter are concerned with constructing their faux-personalities under the guise of polished bubblegum pop, Clark truly delivers something fresh with her twisted pop sensibilities. Filtered through the lens of producer Adam M. Crisp’s (aka Entrepreneurs) kaleidoscope, what you get is youthful imagery of fairgrounds and carnivals; connotations that Clark has tied herself to since her debut EP Hot New Trash. Crisp does a perfect job of channeling Clark’s self-indulgent, self-depreciative female teen angst into visions of a nightmarish, grisly playground.

This is all well and good, but it’s also a sound that FOE has established since day one. EP highlights ‘Tyrant Song’ and ‘Genie in a Coke Can’ make another appearance here (I’m always apprehensive when a band or musician includes material previously released) and they’re definitely the immediate hits of the record – but there are plenty of hidden gems tucked away. Tunes like ‘Get Money’ and ‘A Handsome Stranger Called Death’ may lack the same melodic catchiness as the others, but they make up for it with Clark’s perilous songwriting abilities and ambitious experiments with grunge. Not only that, but previous single ‘Deep Water Heartbreaker’ is (shockingly) absent. It’s certainly a track that arguably could’ve fit in the record better than some of others here (I’m looking at you, the bland and tepid ‘Ode to Janey Lou’).

It’s a thick and claustrophobic listen from beginning to end that’s for sure, but there are enough twists and turns around the notable choruses that keep the album afloat. ‘Dance & Weep’ is a well appreciated ballad, allowing you to appreciate Clark’s voice whilst not being overwhelmed by the copious amount of different sounds that occasionally crash and collide through some of these songs.

It does however all seem to work out perfectly with ‘Cold Hard Rock’, which is annoying as it’s a track that really shows off what FOE does best: dizzying, spiralling clinks and clanks with sharp hooks, an anthemic chorus and gluttonous, relatable lyrics. The record is a bit of a double-edged sword in the way that it disappoints and yet delivers by never really diverting from the sound FOE’s previous EPs and singles have established. Fans of her woozy, wobbly basslines and punch-drunk attitude will certainly find enough to indulge in here, but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed at the lack of adventurous, slap-happy pop anthems along the lines of ‘Tyrant Song’ and ‘Deep Water Heartbreaker’. One things for sure though, FOE certainly has the potential to dazzle the music industry’s finest – it just won’t be quite yet.