Dream Wife
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Dream Wife

London, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

London, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Guardian - New Band Of The Week"

Dream Wife are named after a 1953 romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It’s a movie from the golden age of Hollywood, the pre-countercultural era, with a surprisingly feminist bent. That notion of getting something more, or different, than what you expected appeals to the members of the band, who love the subversive quality of David Lynch’s work and estimated, probably rightly, that their name would at least be a conversation starter.

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 a single deal with Cannibal Hymns

They have an EP out in March, featuring four bursts of catchy grunge/garage mayhem. They cite as influences Debbie Harry (“She plays with the fantasy of the female image and is the perfect mythological pop icon”), Grimes (“A daring, modern pop artist”) and Kathleen Hanna (“Inspirational DIY queen”), and are particularly into the 1990s as a “thing”, especially referencing the Spice Girls and Sleater-Kinney. They’re not quite SG meets S-K, but you do get a sense of three sharp minds wittily dissecting pop culture, not dismissing it but channelling it for their slightly warped vision. For some reason they remind us of Cheap Trick – they’ve got a similar cartoon sensibility, with the attendant impression that they’re smirking as they go, simultaneously mocking and celebrating the medium they’re in.

Like the Trick, their chosen method of infiltrating the system is dumb three-chord guitar-pop. It has the energy and attack of 90s alt rock but also the gloss and sheen of late-70s/80s skinny-tie new wave. From the EP, Hey Heartbreaker is all handclaps and “Hey hey hey!”s, girl group gutter-angel cries and riffs that scythe. Everything takes a neat guitar motif and turns it into mainstream US power pop, although you can still just make out the Reykjavik beneath the roar: think Björk fronting the Bangles. Kids marries deceptively crude power chords to a Lynchian tale of driving to upstate New York in search of someone’s father’s grave and jumping in a lake. Lolita is dancier, with a heart of glass, and Believe (a previous single, not on the EP) is riot grrrl disco, equal parts Bikini Kill and Bananarama – Dream Wife call it “poolside pop with a bite”. Elsewhere, the band have recorded covers of Peaches’ Fuck the Pain Away and a little ditty entitled F.U.U. that finds our heroines repeatedly chanting “gonna fuck you up, gonna cut you up”, teasing out the nastiness, relishing the taste of the inflicted pain. If you want a vision of the future, imagine three female art students in stilettos, stamping on a human face – forever. - Guardian

"The Girl Gang Proving There’s Force In Femininity"

In the age of insta-likes where personal branding reigns, for better or for worse it’s arguably more difficult to break out in any industry if you don’t have a strong social media following to back you up. Where pop stars would usually have whole teams putting together a cohesive project, everything you would possibly need is now at the scroll of a touch-screen. Creating platforms for women to gain control over their image and ultimately their careers, no matter how superficial social media may often seen the power it has given women – especially in the music industry – should not be underestimated.

Formed in Brighton, Dream Wife was first concocted as an art school project in an attempt to tour Canada over summer. Made up of Icelandic frontwoman Rakel Mjoll, with British guitarist Alice Go and bassist Isabella Podpadec, the band was never intended to break out into the IRL music industry. However a year and a half on and a mockumentary later, Dream Wife have moved beyond pastiche and become a fully fledged girl power project, launching their first EP as a cassette release on Cannibal Hymns last week.

Still, elements of the performance art project linger. They may have moved away from rigid marketing in favour of focussing on live shows and taking the music more seriously, but Dream Wife are still acutely aware of the message their pastel perfect aesthetic projects. Self referential with hints of irony, their postmodern approach to pop music both ridicules and celebrates notions of stereotypical femininity – performed or otherwise.

But what Dream Wife probably couldn’t account for was the very real sense of community their project would foster. Gradually building themselves an IRL scene from the ground up, hooking up with some photography’s most exciting talents such as Dazed 100 star Maisie Cousins and Eleanor Hardwick to direct music videos and encompassing elements of set design and performance art in their live sets. Through harnessing the power of the internet as their weapon, the band have unknowingly provided the soundtrack for an insta-generation unashamed in their admiration of pop music and kitsch aesthetics. - Dazed and Confused


Inflatable palm trees, impromptu Peaches covers, and trashed stages filled with ruined ‘space beach’ paraphernalia; it’s all a standard day for Dream Wife. A glitter-pen daubed collaging together of bright, gaudy obsessions – from Bikini Kill and No Doubt right through to Blondie and Banana-bloody-rama – Dream Wife’s music is a tattered scrapbook; and yet their sound is as strikingly recognisable as it comes.

Rakel Mjöll, Alice Go and Bella Podpadec first crossed paths while studying art in Brighton, with rock stardom the last thing on their minds. With the band starting life as a performance piece (oh, and because they fancied going on a jolly to Canada and needed a believable excuse) the trio readily admit they never imagined themselves as band types at all – let alone seasoned riff-wielders in the process of readying a debut album. Yet, here they are.

“We had a great time in Canada,” says bassist, Bella, looking back on the time the band – before they even realised they were an ‘actual’ band, that is – spent playing shows across the Atlantic. “Canada was intended as a conclusion and realisation of the performance piece, but writing songs together felt natural, and we were all curious to see how far we could push the project,” she adds. “The transition from art project to ‘real band’ was quite organic; taking the piece out there, playing shows and sleeping on night coaches for a month forged a solidarity between us, we were suddenly a gang of Wives on the road, and we loved it,” she says.

Starting out with no fixed end goal has been liberating for Dream Wife. An unwieldy combination of vulnerability and empowerment, there are few places the band won’t explore. Their music veers between taking wounded aim at heartbreakers of the world, searching for family graves in upstate New York, and Rakel’s terrifyingly smirk-filled promise; “I’m going to fuck you up.” And according to Rakel – who recently moved from the Icelandic city of Reykjavík to spend more time on the band in London – a certain Country legend is an unlikely inspiration for some of her most laid-bare lyrical moments.

“When I write lyrics I often think about Dolly Parton,” she drops into the mix with all the casual nonchalance of someone asking for access to the nearest condiment jar. “What would Dolly do? With the rawness to her writing, she’s channeling a direct emotion of a time,” she goes on. “If it’s a few minutes or a night she experienced she can go back there. Dolly the time traveller.”

The band recently inked a record deal with Lucky Number (Hinds, Sleigh Bells) on the pebbled beaches during this year’s Great Escape festival - “champagne on the rocks,” quips Alice, “literally” - and next on the Wives’ agenda is cracking on with that debut full-length. “Right now we’re in the midst of writing songs for our album,” Bella says. “We just started at the start of June so it’s all pretty new but going well,” she adds. “3 down! 7 to go? Or something like that. All the ideas that have been bubbling within us for months are now letting loose!” - DIY

"Dream Wife’s “Lolita” Video Puts A Feminist Twist On Horror Movie Clichés"

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 post-punk band told The FADER via email. "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, premiering on The FADER, above. Dream Wife tour the U.K. throughout October alongside Black Honey. - The Fader


Dream Wife - EP01 (Cannibal Hymns & Lucky Number 2016)


Feeling a bit camera shy


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. 

Band Members