Plenty of bands are easy to pigeonhole. Thankfully, Dream Wife aren’t one of them. On this sophomore album, the London trio crank out some noisy post-punk nuggets to let you know they can play rough. Then they soften you up with some kinder, gentler, pop and new-wave ditties to make it clear they can play it cool. And finally, they rein in the fun and games and get down to business with serious, topical tracks about gender politics that show you they can play for keeps. But here’s the thing: Either way, they pack their songs with seductive grooves, earworm melodies and hooks till Hell wouldn’t have ’em. And that’s what you call playing it smart.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “Dream Wife (Alice Go, Bella Podpadec and Rakel Mjöll) are back with their second album and just like the title suggests, this is a record brimming with adrenaline and playful excitement (“It’s an invitation, a challenge, a call to action,” says Rakel). From the jagged, CSS-like guitar of So When You Gonna… to the hooky brightness of album opener Sports! and the whip-smart lyrical asides of Validation, these are moreish, pumped up, sparkling tracks that feel like newer, dynamic evolutions of debut standouts, like F.U.U. and Hey Heartbreaker. But they often lean into sweeter, softer, more emotional moments too. Temporary and After the Rain in particular — songs about miscarriage and abortion, respectively — are complicated, painful stories told through a soft and hopeful lens. These were difficult subjects to write about, but Dream Wife think it’s important to bring these conversations into the public sphere, to refuse to brush things under the rug, to empower and support others in the process. Dream Wife have always been outspoken about holding up other womxn and non-binary people in the creative industries, but these aren’t just words or sentiments. With a gender divide in music production currently estimated at around 95% male to 5% female, the band are proud to have worked with an all-female recording team for So When You Gonna…, including producer and mixer Marta Salogni (Björk, Holly Herndon, FKA Twigs) engineer Grace Banks (David Wrench, Marika Hackman) and mastering engineer Heba Kadry (Princess Nokia, Alex G, Beach House). “It was a way of us practicing what we preach,” says Alice, “It felt like an honour to be able to deliver this baby with these three amazing midwives.” “Put your money where your mouth is!” adds Rakel, quoting the lyrics of Sports!”