Album Review: Dream Wife
If a badass girl band that sends shivers down the spines of insecure boys is what you’re after, look no further. Having all met in Brighton studying fine art and visual art, (which in my eyes makes them that extra bit cooler), Dream Wife is making huge waves and is without a doubt a band set to blow up in 2018. Their self-titled debut album “Dream Wife” is everything we hoped for and quite frankly, I can’t get enough of them, both for the music and their attitude.
The organisation of this album is faultless. The opening ‘Ooo’s of ‘Let’s Make Out’ paired with a rumbling bass send waves of anticipation your stomach. Breaking into a loud, rebellious banger of a track, I can just picture crowds of people screaming as soon as the first note is hit. The track strikes a good balance between pop punk and rock, the chorus is shouty but not angry and is cleverly pulled back in by the following verse.
The beauty of Dream Wife is their ability to mix tasty riffs and melodies with hard-hitting lyrics. “I am not my body, I am somebody” in ‘Somebody’ reinforces their authority and defiance against sexism and the way women are viewed based on their bodies. The opening lyrics ‘You were a cute girl standing backstage / It was bound to happen,’ immediately addresses rape culture and the stereotypical excuses used to justify revolting actions. In a recent interview with Dream Wife, Rakel Mjöll (vocals) said “The fear of using your voice to make sounds becomes much less. When that fear leaves there’s a whole lot of space for creativity. Lyrics are just as important as the melodies. The lyrics are all personal. Anything else would be pretty boring.”
Once you’ve had that first dance along listen to the album, I urge you push the attitude to one side and really listen to the lyrics and message behind each track and take inspiration.
‘Fire’ and ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ have similar upbeat, dancy vibes and even on the first listen, it’s hard not to catch yourself mimicking the girls’ ‘Hey Hey Hey’.
‘F.U.U’ is definitely a song to listen to if you’re feeling particularly bitter about your ex-boyfriend one Monday morning. But honestly, it’s by far one of my favourite tracks on the album. It quite literally takes 14 seconds for them to get to “I’m gonna fuck you up, I’m gonna cut you up, I’m gonna fuck you up” and that’s a statement if I ever did see one. But if you didn’t quite get the “I don’t give a shit” attitude through their lyrics, their thrashy guitars and aggressive drums certainly make it clear. Icelandic rap added by ‘Fever Dream’ plays a nice feature and has flawless flow, I just wish I had the patience to learn it off by heart.
On a different note, I am most fond of the guitars throughout “Act My Age”. With intricate riffs and a strutting drum beat, this song is simply an extremely enjoyable listen. The chorus bursts into a sarcastic and heavier “Do I amuse you? Do I confuse you?”, as if that is exactly what she aims to do. “Kids” is another track with tasty guitar riffs and harmonies. In the same interview, Alice Go (Guitar and vocals) explained “I’m a sucker for a fat riff. When we are writing, whether the music or the lyrics come first, we try to emote a feeling or a tone, be that nostalgia or ‘let’s dance all night”. For “Act My Age” in particular, if you’re a fan of Vampire Weekend type guitars, I recommend you giving this track a listen.
The flexibility of Rakel Mjöll’s voice really is impressive. “Love Without Reason” and “Taste” show a calm, almost angelic element to Rakel’s voice yet she is quick to run this into a defiant roar. “Let’s be kids and fall in love” could suggest an unusual vulnerability, but shows she’s not afraid to ask for what she wants. This is reiterated in “Spend The Night”, however the track finishes with an unaccompanied “And I slip away from you”. Maybe love isn’t what she’s wanting after all – damn.
Dream Wife is an endlessly unapologetic trio, constantly bringing fire and defiance to the table. If you ever get the chance to see these girls live, take it. I can assure you that you’ll be seeing much more of them in the very near future.