Album Review: Juno // Remi Wolf

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Orgies at Five Guys, stealing Corvettes and fishes performing cunnilingus. Welcome to the wacky and wonderful world of Remi Wolf, whose latest album Juno was released on 15th October.

From singing in a barbershop-style collective to skiing at two junior Olympic games, Wolf is a talented extrovert with a restless rationale for fun. Her new album Juno is a bizarre vignette of psychedelic poetry and multi-coloured melodies.

The 25-year-old Californian burst onto the music scene in 2019 with her EP, I’m Allergic To Dogs! The tape oozes personality and is home to the breakout single and Tik-Tok sensation, ‘Photo ID’ (later remixed by her good friend Dominic Fike). I’m Allergic To Dogs! is a short serving of preppy bedroom pop, styled with stuttering guitar stabs and new-wave synths. By dialing down the experimentation, Wolf developed a formula that she’s been able to replicate on Juno – straight-to-the-point songwriting with little fat on the bone. 

The opener, ‘Liquor Store’, fizzes with distorted guitars and compressed drums—a cocktail that engulfs much of the album. Seconds into the track the song is submerged into a psychedelic-funk fusion with Wolf’s fuzzed-out vocals front and centre. 

This time, Wolf takes a maximalist approach in replicating the sunny, “lo-fi” aesthetic of her contemporaries Still Woozy and Brockhampton, while boasting the vocal and sample-based complexities of artists like M.I.A. and The Neptunes. 

‘Anthony Kiedis’, ‘Buzz Me In’ and ‘Sexy Villain’ showcase Wolf at the peak of her songwriting powers. ‘Anthony Kiedis’ isn’t just an ode to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers frontman, but a diary entry about seclusion and the trappings of fame. 

‘Buzz Me In’ is a charming reflection on those love interests that keep you coming back, despite their many shortcomings and the raunchy ‘Sexy Villain’ sees Wolf unveil her dark side as she sings, “I’m cool with the fighting / Cool with the scratchin’ and bitin’ (doin’ it right, doin’ it right)”.

Wolf’s emotional stability often teeters on a knife-edge, from hyper-active highs to damning lows. ‘Liquor Store’ is an obvious nod to her dependency on alcohol and her subsequent time in rehab. On ‘Volkiano’ Wolf acknowledges that her extraversion can go too far: “And I apologize if I take it too far / But I get bored wearing all of these scars,” she sings. 

Wolf’s vulnerabilities are sporadically placed all over the record, hidden in the corners of the most upbeat jams. It is an authentic representation of a generation, who may appear tirelessly charismatic on social media but are, at the end of the day, painfully human. 

The closer, ‘Street You Live On’, is a slow and reflective end to a 40-minute-long journey. It’s quite a risk to juxtapose 12 energetic tracks, with a sugar-sweet love ballad, yet it pays off like the credits to an intense tear-jerker.

To flitting listeners, Wolf’s work may be misinterpreted as motifs made for new-age apple commercials. Dig deeper… you will discover a catchy, clever pop record with a penchant for being unforgettable.  

Words by Will Millar


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