Starting as an art project of London-based students Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go, and Bella Podpadec, Dream Wife quickly became a staple of feminist punk.
The trio writes music that speaks to being a woman with songs covering relationships, sexuality, harassment, and more. Fast and distorted punk mixed with dreamy pop tones brings listeners into a world of youth and nostalgia filled with angst and rule breaking.
Their self-titled debut “Dream Wife” opens with the upbeat and self-explanatory “Let’s Make Out” — an ode to grabbing someone and smooching them (with consent, of course).
The theme of reclaiming sexuality and independence flows through much of the album with tracks “Taste,” “Spend the Night,” and “Hey Heartbreaker” all touching on sexuality and the vulnerability that comes with it.
The second track on the album is my personal favorite. “Somebody” is an anthem of power and solidarity for those taking control of their own body. In a time of awareness on sexual assault and harassment, lyrics like “I am not my body / I am somebody” are more than relevant and relatable. Other notable tracks include “Love Without Reason,” “Act My Age,” and “F.U.U.”
“Love Without Reason” is a ballad for the angsty, feminist punk in us all. Nostalgic, bubblegum-pop-ridden lyrics like “I feel like I love you without reason” and “let’s be kids and fall in love” contrast the entirety of the album, but still feel familiar over raw and fast guitar and drums.
“Act My Age” speaks to the fluidity of women and the ability to be both soft and wild all at once. It feels like a manic, pixie dream girl anthem with self-aware lyrics. “Do I amuse you? / Do I confuse you?” sounds almost too much like a line from an indie coming-of-age film.
Finally, “F.U.U.” closes the album in a blissfully angry anthem perfect for yelling at anyone who has ever done you wrong. Yell along, and I promise you’ll have a great time.
“Dream Wife” is feminist punk for today’s woman. Drawing inspiration from Bowie and Madonna, and with hints of riot grrrl sprinkled throughout the album, Dream Wife has created a powerful and safe place for listeners to let out any anger they have at the world, their friends, or that creepy guy who cat-called them on their way home.
Dream Wife redefines what it means to be a woman in punk with their debut album, which speaks volumes of what’s to come.