God damn have we been waiting a long time for a band like Dream Wife. They’ve got the art school cred – they all met while studying down in Brighton but are now based in London – they’ve got the slamming tunes and they’ve got the kind of attitude that, were you able to bottle it and sell it to shy and retiring 14-year-olds, you’d make millions. ‘Cool’ is a word that’s chucked about far too lightly these days, but cool is what Dream Wife are. The trio are made up of Rakel Mjöll on lead vocals, Alice Go on guitar and Bella Podpadec on bass, and their glimmering punk-pop is the most exciting thing you’re going to hear this dreary January, and quite likely all 2018.
Not since Yeah Yeah Yeahs burst out of Manhattan in the early 2000s in a blaze of fishnets and glitter has punk rock been as downright fun. From the opening coos of ‘Let’s Make Out’ to the hammered-out closing chords and screams of the excellently sweary ‘FUU’, this is a record that revels in spontaneity and the sheer magic of three best friends getting together in a studio and having the time of their lives. That in itself would be enough for an album to be good, but the fact that the songs are lick, riff and catchy chorus-packed makes it great. ‘Somebody’ – which takes on women’s autonomy of their own physical form (“I am not my body / I am somebody”) – mixes a fluffy sound with a hard-hitting message, while the incendiary ‘Fire’ lets the trio’s lush melodies float over sturdy guitars which conjure up 1990s legends L7, The Breeders and Elastica all at once.
Proof that Dream Wife make unabashed celebration music is there in all 11 tracks, but it’s the clap-along ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ and “woo hoo”-ing ‘Kids’ are the ones that deserve pole position on your next rowdy party playlist. Dream Wife are one hell of a proposal.