Posts Tagged ‘Alice Go’

For a band which started out as a bit of a joke, Dream Wife aren’t doing too badly. Originally formed as an arty project at Brighton University, it was an idea which backfired in the best possible way when the trio discovered that, actually, they were quite good at this music thing.

Extensive gigging, tours supporting Sleigh Bells and The Kills, and a raucous performance at SXSW later, they now release their debut album, eleven songs and just over half-an-hour of brash, punky, shoutiness, underpinned by strong lyrics and a determined sense of identity.

There’s a certain relentlessness about their creation. Singer Rakel Mjoll’s voice is at times urgent, at times strident, and at other times light as a feather. Nowhere is this more evident than on ‘Somebody’, as she sternly lectures that “I am not my body, I’m somebody” over Alice Go’s trademark chopping riff. Current single ‘Hey, Heartbreaker’ is perhaps the poppiest song on here, with shouty backing vocals and even handclaps thrown into the mix. Indeed, Dream Wife are far from afraid of the odd musical cliché, chucking some ‘woo-woo’s into ‘Kids’ and a whole lot of punk attitude into the bratty ‘F.U.U.’

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Dream Wife are at their very best, though, when they harness that aggression. Opener ‘Let’s Make Out’ is a combination of angsty and angry, Bella Popadec’s bouncy bassline underpinning a song taught with uncertainty. ‘Fire’, meanwhile, is The Breeders sanding the raw edges off of Kenickie, a promising sign of musical development yet to come.

If you wanted to be really picky, you could argue that this record is a bit too relentless, a bit too lacking in darkness and light. On the other hand, that’s pretty much the point of Dream Wife – full on, demonstrative and pretty much unstoppable.

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Icelandic singer Rakel Mjöll fronts this British guitar band, her voice switching between Scandi-pop sweetness and a rip-roaring punk yowl. Dream Wife’s music simmers with lust and fury – on tracks such as Let’s Make Out and Fire they manage to strip the angular 00s indie sound of its dad-ish associations in the process.

The real band Dream Wife — a name taken from a ’50s film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr — began as fake band in an art school project that was a This Is Spinal Tap-esque mockumentary. The project was created as a way for Rakel Mjoll to explore femininity and its tropes within pop music. Along with Isabella Podpadec and Alice Go, the trio put together the “fictional” Dream Wife, entered a film competition and won. The prize was performing at a Canadian Music Festival, after which they found themselves touring around that country. And so the art project Dream Wife became the real Dream Wife, creating songs dealing with femininity that look to subvert assumptions within the subject.

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The trio wrote to tell me that they “wanted to make something direct and simple. The song ‘Somebody’ is a ballad about the experience of living with a female body … we focused on capturing a truthful performance that was both elegant and stripped back.

“We drew inspiration from the male-dominated iconography of ’70s glam rock, a time where men were able to explore their femininity. With the video, we are playing off this subversion with our own exploration of contemporary femininity.”

The video was produced and shot by John Podpadec — you may remember that name from the first paragraph of this article. John recalls being asked to shoot the video by his daughter, Dream Wife’s bassist.

 

“When my daughter Isabella asked if I’d be interested in shooting Dream Wife’s new promo for ‘Somebody’ I didn’t know how to respond,” he said. “Surely they had someone in London who could do this — they’re part of such a great creative collective. Although I’d worked as a photographer around the Bristol music scene in the mid-’80s, I’d never really involved myself with pop videos. I did shoot one promo for the Blue Aeroplanes – ‘Jacket Hangs’ — but I then went off to work for 30 years as a lighting camera person on broadcast documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.

“They pointed me at David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ and some other videos. They wanted something clean and simple but with the ability to carry a strong message. What I really like about the film is that it’s got attitude and makes its point, but also captures the energy of Dream Wife’s stage performance.”

I heard a number of people talking about this band and their stage presence at SXSW just recently. I saw a show of theirs there and, though I think in order to do their talents justice some further development may lie ahead, Dream Wife is a band worth watching — and their message deserves to be heard.

 

London-based band Dream Wife are calling time in the horror movie tropes that drive you crazy. You know the drill, an innocent teenage girl gets chased and tormented by a scary old man until she is saved by another, more heroic man. For the video for new single “Lolita,” the trio, Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go, and Bella Podpadec, decided to flip some of those well-worn ideas on their head.

Using a found footage aesthetic directors Sam Boullier and Eleanor Hardwick create a series of shots that capture the band being both good and the bad, the villains and the victims. The video satirizes the archetype of the female horror victim throughout, while also nodding to horror classics like The Shining.

“The idea for the video came from a distaste toward the classic virginal female victim narrative, the damsel in distress scenario,”. “The intention was to make something both playful and angry, toying with many conventional horror movie moments in an unconventional, empowering, silly and scary way.”

Check out the video, Dream Wife tour the U.K. throughout October alongside Black Honey.

DREAM WIFE EP01 Out 11th March 2016!

This ain’t your average house party. Dream Wife invite you to jump into the mosh pit. London based musicians Alice, Bella and Icelandic singer Rakel formed at art school in Brighton where the project began as a performance art piece. Dream Wife make music embracing their love for edgy pop. Oozing girl power the music juxtaposes simple pop hooks, cutting riffs and screamy dreamy vocals.

The world of Dream Wife is brought to life with; roaring live shows, an empowering attitude embracing the strength of femininity, and collaborations with vibrant creatives of the London scene.

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They comprise three musicians, two British and one (singer Rakel Mjöll) Icelandic. Actually, “musician” does them a disservice: they’re artists, and music just happens to be the vehicle for their ideas right now. They were studying, variously, fine art and visual art at college in Brighton a year ago when they had the concept of forming a “fake girl band” as an art project for a gallery exhibition. So they wrote a few songs, recorded them, made a mockumentary inspired by Spinal Tap, and performed at the opening of the exhibition. It went so well, the fake/fantasy outfit became a reality. They started getting booked for gigs around England, even playing a festival, wrote some more songs, toured Canada and signed to Enfer Records.

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The lineup: Rakel Mjöll (lead vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals), Bella Podpadec (bass, vocals).