Dream Wife are back with follow up album So When You Gonna… and it picks up straight where the first left off. There’s always been an exciting aura about Dream Wife. The London-based trio, Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar) and Bella Podpedec (bass), create bold feminist anthems and are exactly the sort of band you needed to hear as a teenager.
Opener and lead single ‘Sports!’ is a call to action: put your money where your mouth is. All wrapped up in a fun, energetic rock track. Putting your money where your mouth is, is something Dream Wife do particularly well. In a world where feminism has largely become a marketing tool for brands, Dream Wife feel refreshingly welcome and authentic, from using an open call out for tour support to creating a podcast, interviewing creatives on their way into the industry.
Titular track ‘So When You Gonna…’ is another standout and a live show hit. A riotous, sonic explosion straight from the first chords. Interwoven into the song is an internal monologue narrating the desire to kiss someone and the frustration of the other person being clueless: “Alright I guess I just have to spell it out for you / When. Are. You. Gonna. Kiss. Me.”
“Too bad they were a bad kisser,’“sighs Mjöll at the songs pay off.
Created with an all-female production team, the track shows the band practicing what they preach and creating space in a male dominated industry. ‘Homesick,’ ‘Validation’ and ‘RH RN’ bring the fun and energetic feel from the debut, with thumping bass, loud guitars and a Yeah Yeah Yeahs inspired dance-punk feel. ‘RH RN’ in particular captures the feeling of letting go of your reservations and chasing after your ambitions: “We are the youngest we will ever be / we are the oldest we have ever been.” Whereas softly sweet ‘Hasta La Vista’ channels Blondie vibes.
So When You Gonna… is not all riotous and fun filled punk and it’s on the slower and emotional tracks where the album is at its strongest. ‘Temporary’ is a gut wrenchingly raw song. Dealing with the experience of miscarriage which, as a topic is often wrongly considered shameful but is important to talk about. The delicate track covers heartbreak, strength and hope: “If the heartbeat fails / you know I’m here with a full embrace.” Piano ballad, ‘After The Rain’ deals with abortion, “My choice, my life / it’s my will my sacrifice / it’s my body, my right / not for others to decide.” An emotive album closer, the song feels increasingly relevant at a time when reproductive rights around the world are being threatened.
After playing over 200 shows after the release of their 2018 debut album, ‘U Do U’ is a reflective track that highlights the isolation that can come from being a band and travelling around the world on tour. “I know you’ll fall in love with someone who’s not so far away / it’s hard to build a home when you never really stay,” are lyrics about coming home to find the world around them has changed while they’ve been away.
So When You Gonna… sees Dream Wife grow as songwriters. The album allows for more experimentation and variety, while maintaining the fun energy Dream Wife are known for. A confident, forward sophomore album and an encouragement to be yourself and never apologise.
Words by Brenna Cooper
Photo by Paul Hudson