ALBUM REVIEW: Dream Wife – So When You Gonna…(Lucky Number)
Dream Wife are a London-based band who blend a punk attitude with indie-rock and pop sensibilities, and this is their much-anticipated second album.
Rakel Mjöll (lead vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals), and Bella Podpadec (bass, vocals) got together at Brighton University as an art school performance project, but then found the idea had legs.
After a couple of well-received EPs they released their excellent self-titled debut album in 2018, which won praise from the likes of NME, DIY and The Independent.
It earned them support slots with the likes of Garbage, Sleigh Bells and The Kills, as well as sold-out headline shows of their own, all the while using their platform to lift up other womxn and non-binary creatives with empowering messages and spread their ‘girls to the front’ ethos.
Now they’re back with a second helping, continuing to channel the spirit of the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bikini Kill and even Blondie while tackling feminist issues such as gender, body image and sexual objectification.
Made with an entirely non-male production team, it also addresses topics such as abortion, miscarriage, and equality, and it’s another excellent record.
It explodes into life with lead single Sports!, a real earworm of a song which extols the virtues of using exercise to expel pent-up energy.
Homesick is an early standout, with Mjöll’s vocals showing the attitude of Karen O, but the vulnerability of her fellow Icelander Bjork.
RH RN explores the immediacy of the time and the place, reminding us “We are the youngest we will ever be, we are the oldest we have ever been, right now, right here right now”.
The title track shows the singer’s voice, at times reminiscent of Clare Grogan’s playful croon, is also capable of sounding fierce as she screams “so when you gonna kiss me?” in a powerful display of female empowerment.
Some of Go’s delicious guitar work reminds me of The Cribs, one of my favourite indie bands, but they show they’re not one-trick ponies with the gentle, piano-led After The Rain. This is one of my favourite albums so far this year. 8/10.
* Dream Wife are donating all proceeds from digital Bandcamp orders of So When You Gonna… to Black Minds Matter, which connects black individuals and families with professional and mental health services across the UK, and Gendered Intelligence, which aims to increase understanding of gender diversity, with a focus on supporting trans people aged 25 and under.