UK punky pop trio Dream Wife are, in all senses, effortlessly cool, right down to the way they started. The trio formed in 2014 as a fake girl band for a performance art project – before realising they were actually really good, began playing gigs and found their way to a record deal.
Four years on, Dream Wife have released their self-titled debut album, and it's a riot. With noisy, crunchy guitars and singer Rakel Mjoll's searing vocals, the album burns through themes such as female body autonomy and teen-movie romanticism with a tongue-in-cheek ferocity. On Somebody, Mjoll hits back at victim-blaming culture with an empowering snarl: "I am not my body/I am somebody." Later, on Love Without Reason, she embraces a childlike infatuation; "I feel like I love you without reason… So let's be kids and fall in love."
The trio mould a punk rock palette around strict pop structures, with the majority of songs resting as short, emotive bursts around the two- to three-minute mark. There's little variation in style, but for fans of riotous, 21st century noise-pop, that will act as a blessing.
It's more than worth sticking around for the final song, F.U.U: a jolting explosion of pure fury, Mjoll yells that she'll "f*** you up" and "cut you up" before a bridge is sung in Icelandic by rapper and poet Fever Dream. As the song rolls into its climactic finish, Dream Wife issue a reminder that they've got their eye on you: "I spy with my little eye/bad bitches."
Dream Wife, Dream Wife
Pod / Inertia
A gloriously acerbic punk record sizzling with unapologetic female rage