Album Review: Dream Wife – Dream Wife

Words by Callum Sheppard

Debut albums are always the most interesting of propositions. To a larger extent, the artist or band in question has free range with which they can showcase their talent to the world. This allows for them to grasp their first momentous step firmly and impose something wondrous on the music scene. For the British/Icelandic three-piece Dream Wife, their self-titled debut album is something that knows no boundaries, a collective emphasis on the word ‘fun’ for just over half an hour.

Dream Wife artwork

Now, anyone who knows me will know of my consistent love for album openers and closers. Not just the brutal ones that mean you’re forced down by a sheer need to listen to the rest of the album, nor the exciting ones that make you act like a kid before Christmas. Luckily when it comes to Dream Wife, it has both. ‘Let’s Make Out’ and ‘F.U.U.’ top and tail the record in the most unforgettable of ways. The former is an early demonstration of how vocally on point the band is, especially ‘Let’s Make Out’s ridiculously good chorus in which lead singer Rakel Mjöll asks “are you too shy?”. If you are too shy at that point, the confidence you’ll gain from listening to the album will have you wanting to do weird and wonderful things.

Read our thoughts on album track ‘Fire’ here.

This isn’t an album you can assume anything from. As soon as the first track finishes, you can spot from ‘Somebody’ that the trio didn’t come to mess about in a realm of three-chord catchiness. It’s a harrowing tale that manages to release some of the pain of the lyrics through its true beauty. The album’s second track isn’t just excellent in how it helps define why the last year, with all of the Weinstein revelations, was so significant. Like every track on Dream Wife, its chorus is a sprinkling of perfection throughout its memorability.

Dream Wife is quite honestly stunning in what it achieves. A collection of songs from Mjöll, guitarist Alice Go and bassist Bella Podpadec that takes from a lot of places, times and themes, it still manages to give back in equal measure. Whether you take the choruses of ‘Hey Heartbreaker’ or ‘Act My Age’ and delight in their ability to destroy your eardrums or the subtle pain that sits across ‘Love Without Reason’, there really is a present for everyone. Since the first time I saw them perform in October 2016, I knew something special was coming. Back then, I genuinely had no idea who they were but their stage presence as a trio and relentless ability to keep the crowd under their spell helped to show just what they brought to the table. They will have fun, they will excite you and you will love it.