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Who Are You?: Dream Wife

Illustration by Gabriel Alcala

When three art students come together to make music, the result could quite literally be anything. Despite the vast possibilities, Dream Wife have managed to refine their respectively diverse backgrounds into something honed, sharp and confident.

Having met whilst immersed in their studies at a Brighton college, the three-piece joined forces and found an outlet for expression through the medium of sound. Early single ‘Believe’ was enough to capture the imagination of the forward-thinking music community, and we’ve been hooked ever since.

It fast became clear that this is a group with punk foundations, but perhaps the best thing is they’re comfortable to bring the often limiting genre into new corners. A lot of this is done through the silky vocals of Rakel Mjöll which juxtapose harshly against raw guitars.

Needless to say, the band have kept their cool under such heavy industry attention. Already this year they’ve put out the wholesome ‘EP01’, which has since seen them sign to the somewhat legendary ‘Lucky Number’.

The release itself packs the adrenaline of Savages during numbers like ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, although there’s also tracks which prove a bit more contextual. A solid example of this would be the melodic and swooning ‘Kids’. It’s the kind of song that can make you feel a bit fuzzy headed and romantic. The lyrics bring both anecdotal wit and surrealism, “You drove to upstate New York to find your fathers grave”, they sing longingly.

It goes without saying that Dream Wife are a testament to creative youth culture right now. We caught up with the girls to see how it’s all paddling in their world.

So how does the creative process take place between you guys?

We usually jam a riff or a melody one of us has and go from there. We like playing them early on during live shows. That’s a nice way to test it on the crowd, if the structure is right or if the vibe is there then that’s how they evolve until the final result when we record them. So songs mainly written on the road, played for audiences until we think they are right to put them in the recording oven. Saying that we’re really excited to start writing again, we just signed a record deal with London based indie label Lucky Number for a debut album and we better get cracking.

There seems to be some quite blunt messages in your music, what do you lyrically seek to tackle?

Rakel writes most of the lyrics and it’s usually about a certain moment or feeling that’s going around during that time in all of our lives. We’re highly influenced by the sounds we want to make too and how that mixes. I’m not sure if we’re tackling certain subjects or such, it sort of just comes naturally, and it’s not until we look at it afterwards where we find the connections.

How did starting out as a performance art piece shape you as a band?

We all came from different disciplines, Alice studied fine art sculpture, Bella studied fine art painting and Rakel did music and visual arts. Our art background has informed Dream Wife, particularly our aesthetics considerations. It gave us a lot of freedom when we think about it. In terms of collaborations we want to work with a range of artists not just musicians to create our visual world. This band has a range of amazing creatives around it, it’s nice.

Did you have a clear idea of the sound you wanted to achieve?

We all listen to different types of music ranging from Le Tigre to David Bowie to Goldfrapp to Joey Four, so whatever we’re listening to definitely influences the sound we make. The first song we ever wrote and ended up being our first single is called ‘Believe’. We thought it was a funk song at first so we called it ‘Funkydelious’ but it turns out it wasn’t a funk song at all. It was pretty poppy with a punk side.

Tell us about the recording of the new EP? 

We actually recorded and mixed the majority of it at Alice’s parents house, her dad is playing the drums on it. Vox and mastering were done in Iceland with a friend of Rakel’s. The combination of a really hands on DIY production and a really pumped master and final mix have made for an EP we are really proud of.

What can we expect from the live shows?

Wild, sweaty (you better move to the beat), raw and really fun times. That’s at least what’s happening on stage, join the party. We aim for the live recordings to go hand in hand with the live shows! Dream Wife is definitely best experienced live.