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First Play: Dream Wife, self-titled

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By
Melody Lau

Editor's note: strong language warning.

British-Icelandic band Dream Wife want to cut to the chase. In the opening moments of their debut self-titled album, singer Rakel Mjöll lets out a ferocious howl: “Let’s make out!”

Whether they're staking out their own needs or challenging gender stereotypes, Dream Wife are confrontational, direct and always putting women first. It was their goal when they formed in 2014 as an art project, attending school in Brighton, and it remains their driving force today. And while becoming a real group wasn't their original intention, Mjöll and bandmates Alice Go and Bella Podpadec have struck something real and special with their sharp riffs and melodic chants.

After touring extensively in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K., opening for bands such as The Kills and Sleigh Bells, Dream Wife have finally put together a full-length record, combining songs from a previous EP with new numbers to create a rollicking collection of fiery anthems.

On “Somebody,” they fight against the objectification of women by reminding listeners, “I am not my body/ I am somebody.” Elsewhere, on the punk dirge of “F.U.U.,” they make things even clearer to those who threaten their feminist ideas that they’re not going to take it: “I'm gonna f--k you up, gonna cut you up, gonna f--k you up.”

But, they also apply that same determination to the way they love, on more yearning tracks such as “Love Without Reason” and “Taste.” No matter what they’re doing, they’re doing it 100 per cent.

It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind energy of Dream Wife. Their songs are infectious, bursting with a personality that’s reminiscent of Riot Grrrl’s most memorable acts. In 2018, women are continuing to push a conversation and movement that demands more space in the public consciousness, and with battle cries like these, Dream Wife is serving the perfect soundtrack for this moment.

So, move aside, guys, because they’re ready to mess you up.

More to explore:

The year in protest music: radical hope, resistance and rising up

10 Canadian albums to look forward to in 2018