Meet Dream Wife, the London based riot grrrl advocates who just released a manic Peaches cover for Valentines Day and announced details of their debut EP.
‘Hey Heartbreaker’ is taken from said EP (released March 11), and – like the other three tracks – was recorded partly at guitarist/vocalist Alice Go’s house, and partly at Aeronaut studios in Reykjavík. The Icelandic connection comes courtesy of lead vocalist Rakel Mjöll, who says ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ “started out as a in-joke about an Italian concierge, probably in his early 60’s, who was working in my friend’s building in Brooklyn” before “evolving into a riot”. You can read some sweet ‘testimonials’ from all three bandmembers below, in fact, which serve as a perfect introduction to the band, delving into the history of Icelandic music, the band’s common influences (PJ Harvey seems to be a must-listen) and why they got bored of people telling them what to do and how to sound.
Here’s ‘Hey Heartbreaker’:
Dream Wife play London’s Birthday’s on March 11, the day their self-titled EP comes out. And here they are writing about being in a band:
Rakel Mjöll, vocals:
“When we met up for the first time to play music, we had no clue what we wanted to sound like. We just started playing and saw what came out of it. Full honesty and trust in the process making lead to some damn fine tunes and a lot of adventures. For my part, I’m the vocalist. I enjoy vocal looping, and building melodies on top of melodies. I come from Iceland and there’s a huge culture for communities to be in choirs – every school and workplace seems to have a choir. We didn’t really get any instruments on the island until the 16th century – the organs in the churches – so learning to hone an instrument wasn’t common. But folk tales and group singing was.
“The fear of using your voice to make sounds becomes much less. When that fear leaves there’s a whole lot of space for creativity. Grimes is a great modern day inspiration. Lyrics are just as important as the melodies. The lyrics are all personal. Anything else would be pretty boring. They are experiences of others close to me, of the girls or my own. Saying that, ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ was a fun one to play around with. It started out as an in-joke about an Italian concierge, probably in his early 60’s, who was working in my friends building in Brooklyn that I was staying at. But it evolved into a riot, an awakening of the idea of a ‘crush’ and of how we examine our feelings and make assumptions of other people, paint a pretty picture and avoid to see the rest – and vice versa as well.
“Dream Wife and this EP to me is letting out a side of myself that I’m excited to explore and secretly always wanted to. The girl who gives less of a fuck, who’s witty, who dares to hone her own individuality, gets her heart broken, breaks others – but never on purpose – and salutes to all the inspiring people who came before her, values her friendships and creativity. The rush, the wall of sound, the mad fun and the absolute high of happiness that happens on stage with these girls creates such a powerful moment. I’m so glad that we’ve now been able to translate that into a recording!”
Alice Go (guitar and vocals):
“I’m a sucker for a fat riff. When we are writing, whether the music or the lyrics come first, we try to emote a feeling or a tone, be that nostalgia or ‘let’s dance all night’. Often music and lyrics come together and it’s a magic moment when you can sense the vibe of the song suddenly, and it moves you. Inspiration wise, classics like T-Rex, Bowie and Blondie are always in the back of my mind. I grew up listening to my Dad’s music collection and I think it’s in my bones now. More recent stuff like PJ Harvey, Le Tigre, Garbage, Sleigh Bells and Anna Calvi are amazing, they definitely have influence on my guitar style and the Dream Wife sound. I think in this day and age, where synthesis of any instrument is so easily possible inside your computer, it’s really important that great live bands exist. The guitar is so expressive and powerful – it can never be synthesised. Dream Wife is totally a wild live ride, and we wanted to capture that in these recordings.”
Bella Podpadec (bass and vocals):
“Music is something I never planned to peruse but have somehow plunged headfirst into. As a teenager I had fantasies about being in a band, I looked to PJ Harvey or Kim Deal or David Bryne or Patti Smith as idols, but I was more drawn to visual arts. While at art school in Brighton, though collaboration and experimentation I somehow ended up on stage with two of the most incredible human beings. It’s been a wild journey so far and we’ve all grown a lot, both as a unit and as individuals.
“Really, Dream Wife is just about making things with your friends. We have been lucky enough to work with some inspiring photographers, bookers, film-makers, writers and make up artists. It’s amazing to be part of such an exciting (and ever expanding) group of people, having fun, helping each other out and making stuff happen. We got really bored of people telling us what we should do when it came to the band. With this release we are taking it into our own hands and doing it our way. Alice recorded all the instruments at her place – it was a lot of fun and meant we could do it how we wanted. Working with a drummer is quite new for us as it pushes the energy way up. Billy’s beats on this record are sick and I can’t wait for the world to hear them.”