Album Review: Dream Wife - Dream Wife
Dream Wife are a trio of young women that met at university and formed a band as a performance art project, only to find their chemistry too powerful for it to remain merely a project. They soon found themselves booking DIY tours around the UK with no prior experience and only 4 songs written. This natural energy, enthusiasm and "let's just fucking do it" attitude is crucial to their music, and is what becomes the resounding factor of their self-titled debut album.
Creating full-gusto power-pop-rock with nerve-shredding vocals from leader Rakel Mjöll, it’s fair to say that Dream Wife’s music is pretty much impossible to ignore as soon as it’s put on. All three members are fire symbols, for which they account their chemistry, and they may be on to something there, as each song on their album roars and pulsates with the untameable energy of the element. Their songs absolutely burst with excitement, like the peak of a sugar high stretched out and made audible, replete with sidewinding guitar riffs, classic pop backing vocals and gigantic hooks.
In opening track ‘Let’s Make Out’ that simple desire to just lock lips with someone seems overwhelming and insupressible, dizzying in its pace and capped off by Rakel’s voice screaming like the muscles in your body desperate to break out from beneath the skin and make contact. They seem to be taking on the point of view of hormones in the bloodstream in ‘Somebody’, as they switch perspectives between the confident guy singing “you were a cute girl standing backstage/ it was bound to happen,” and their own self-worth as they retort “I am not my body/ I am somebody.” A similar thread is picked up in ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, where we’re taken into a frenzied, taunting dance around the target of the song, flitting maniacally between flirtation and apathy, practically getting whiplash in the process. This visceral rock also finds a peak on ‘Taste’, where Rakel really gets to open up her full-throated roar as she cuts straight to the chase: “All I wanna do is taste you.”
Often the underlying immaturity of their songs shines through their roller-coaster rock, to both positive and negative results. ‘Love Without Reason’ finds Rakel repeating the phrase “I feel like I love you without reason” multiple times, which begs to be explored a bit more, but gets away with it when the guitar launches the song into its ascendant chorus. ‘Kids’ is a classic best friend story about reliving your younger days and knowing they’ll never end; not particularly original but plenty of innocuous fun. ‘Act My Age’ is a rip-roaring number born out of those early twinges of angsty obstinacy, the chorus repeatedly challenging “Do I amuse you?/ Do I confuse you?” Final track ‘F.U.U.’ is them going balls-to-the-wall with their own anthem, viciously repeating “I’m gonna fuck you up” over razor guitars, before going self-referential in the refrain: “I spy with my little eye, three bad bitches,” perfectly capping off their debut album.
Dream Wife is an album inextricably linked with the band’s own youthful energy, as it is projected from every single guitar lick, vocal tick and musical explosion across its 35 minutes. This can prove a little wearing or agitating for those not in the right state of mind, as their brand of pop-rock is some of the most invasive and bolshy likely to be heard on a debut album. However, if you’re looking for an aural caffeine kick, a rock and roll sugar rush or an emphatic “I don’t give a fuck!” then look no further.
This article was originally published on The 405 - 6th February 2018.