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Track-by-Track: dreamcat Shares Stories Behind Songs on His ‘Juice Box’ EP

Synth-pop artist dreamcat dives deep into the inspiration behind the new songs on the ‘Juice Box’ EP in this new track-by-track feature.



Colton Ciufo (dreamcat), photo by Em Glaves

Anchorage-based synth-pop sensation dreamcat (Colton Ciufo) has loved performing and creating music since childhood. On the rise and becoming known for his quintessential synth-pop fusion sound, he showcases his carefully curated niche in the music industry on his new EP Juice Box.

Delivering a soundscape that brims with hope, dreamcat has always used music as an escape, using creativity as a means for coping with alcoholism, social anxiety, and depression. Drawing inspiration from artists like Empire of the Sun, MGMT, and STRFKR, his new EP offers a mesmerizing an invigorating take on electronic and pop genres as he dares listeners to want something more and find new ways to experience the joy of life through friendship and love with a grace and finesse that conveys a depth of emotion.

dreamcat joins us today for an in-depth look at how the songs of Juice Box came to fruition and the stories, people, and relationships that inspired their creation.

1. “Best Friend”


“This song started with the main synth melody, using the Oberheim OB-X. I was just very careful with every first choice of sound I used because I knew it would determine if it was gonna be a great song or not, and I knew I was playing with fire. All the elements make something greater than the sum of its parts. I actually recorded the background vocals before the lead, which is a trick for myself I stumbled upon. The theme of “best friends” has been used tons of times (Queen, Randy Newman, etc.), but I had never done it before, so I was excited to take a stab at it. It can mean something different for everyone, and it plucks at your heartstrings.”

2. “Juice Box”

“Juice Box was something I wrote down in my memo pad app, and made me smile. I knew it could turn into something. I love it when a song sounds hopeful, or, like a summer night. For me, the song is undeniably about avoiding cravings for alcohol. I’ve been sober almost a year, and life is a lot more rewarding and wholesome. But I’ll always have addictions, whether it be caffeine, nicotine, mint fudge gelato, or music, and those things all help. And like this EP, Juice Box, it’s a few sweet things in a little package, easy to consume.”

3. “That Way”

“‘Getting out of your own head.’ It’s about trying to live in the moment and also being able to be free to express yourself, and be comfortable being uncomfortable. And it’s a perfect chorus. Life can be as fun as you want it to be. When I was younger, especially, I struggled with social anxiety in everyday interactions, but at the same time loved performing, making people laugh, or putting on a show. I was also inspired by people who were great at it, ‘Show me what it’s like.’”

dreamcat 'Juice Box' album artwork

dreamcat ‘Juice Box’ album artwork

Dawn Jones is the curator of the V13 imPRESSED Column. Previously known as imPRESSED Indie Music Blog, Jones and her team joined forces with V13 in 2020 to collaborate on an exclusive column on V13's site (imPRESSED) to bring a niche focus to the rapidly evolving indie music genre. Dawn is also the founder of Pressed PR - a boutique PR agency that focuses on PR for independent creatives. Pressed PR’s team works on a variety of campaigns partnering with independent filmmakers, independent artists, and independent labels. Pressed PR’s music clientele has landed in the pages of Billboard, Atwood Magazine, EARMILK, HYPE Magazine, and many others.