Deriving their name as a commentary on society’s objectification of women, the London-based punk rock trio Dream Wife — Icelandic-born, London-based Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar, vocals) and Bella Podapec (bass, vocals) — can trace their origins to when the trio met and started the band back in 2015 as part of an art project conceptualized around the idea of a band born out of one girl’s memories of growing up in Canada during the 1990s.
2018 saw the band release their self-titled, full-length debut to critical acclaim. And as a result, the band built up a profile as a must-see live act, playing at SXSW, opening for Garbage, The Kills and Sleigh Bells, which they followed up with sold-out headlining tours across the European Union and the US — including a stop at Rough Trade with New York-based genre-defying artist Sabri. Adding to a growing profile, the band had their music appear in the Netflix hit series Orange is The New Black. But at the core of all of that is the trio’s mission to lift up other womxn and non-binary creatives with empowering messages and a “girls to the front” ethos.
Slated for a July 3, 2020 release through Lucky Number Music, the London-based trio’s Marta Salogni-produced So When You Gonna . . . may arguably be the most urgent and direct call to the action of the rising act’s growing catalog. Thematically touching upon some of the most important and sobering themes of our sociopolitical moment including abortion, miscarriage and gender equality, the album is centered by “it’s a now or never” immediacy in which the listener is encouraged to stop waiting, get off your ass and start doing something. Interestingly, the album’s title plays on its central idea. “It’s an invitation, a challenge, a call to action,” the band’s Rakel Mjöll says in press notes.
After playing roughly 200 shows during the course of 2018, the band didn’t bother to sit still and they turned to playing sports while writing the material that would eventually comprise their forthcoming sophomore album. The album’s first single “Sports!” is an ode to the moments in which they all felt they needed to expel some of that post-tour energy — and as a result, the song is a frenetic and absurdly maximalist take on post punk that features explosive blasts of angular guitar, four-on-the-floor drumming, rapid-fire tempo shifts, shimmering synth arpeggios, enormous arena rock friendly hooks and winking vocal asides. Sonically speaking, the song will bring Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom of Thought-era DEVO, Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Entertainment-era Gang of Four to mind while capturing a youthful exuberance and zero fucks given air.
The band directed their recently released video for “Sports!” is appropriately absurd and maximalist as it features the members of Dream Wife in sports-like attire, playing weird variations of what should be familiar sports.
“’Sports!’ sits on multiple levels; of satire and celebration, of nonsense and commonsense, of the body and the mind, of IRL and digital. The video simultaneously plays with and celebrates ‘sports’ through multiple levels of reality and non-reality; exploring the nonsense of sports, toying with the seriousness of competition and the rigidity of rules while also asserting how important it is to be in your body, the joy of being in a team, the purpose in doing something for the sake of doing it, the endorphins and the sweat,” the band says in press notes. “Playing sports is great if that’s for you but there are so many other ways to be physical, to be with your body. For us, more often than not, it’s the rock show. Rock ‘n’ roll is an extreme sport and we’re a team.”