“Two years ago, we were this feral, wild band,” starts Dream Wife guitarist Alice Go. “We just went and did stuff. We had four songs and went out and toured Canada a month after we formed. We just did these tours where we did our own sound every night, had to get the money ourselves. We experienced quite a lot of sexism at the time, and it made us realise that things have to change.”
Together, Alice along with vocalist Rakel Mjöll and bassist Bella Podpadec, are “a power trio”, she explains. “Three overworkers coming together and overworking together. You form this solidarity. You’re not just friends with these people; you’re on this journey together. Going through those early struggles, any one of us could have stopped doing it at any time. It was hard. Why are we doing this? But we just couldn’t stop. It’s this energy we have together. We suspend belief together sometimes. We make each other believe we can do great things and represent something that means something to us all. We call each other our wives. It feels like we have this mission together, to spread this message. Everything we do just reinforces why we are in each other’s lives and why we’re doing this together.”
Sentimental, nostalgic, full of belief and brimming with a never quit attitude, Dream Wife’s self-titled debut captures every jagged edge and polished corner of the band. There’s the grab and go opening of ‘Let’s Make Out’ that screams of losing yourself in the moment, the clenched first declaration of ‘Somebody’, unblinking as it promises “I am not my body, I am somebody”, the skipping twinkle of ‘Kids’ which longs for youthful simplicity and nights that would last forever, while ‘F.U.U.’ does away with threats as the band rage, riot and champion their own scene. Dream Wife for life.
“It’s our conversations being put through into the lyrics. Things that matter to us being put through into the lyrics. It’s when we’re in a room together, bringing whatever we’re feeling into that and not questioning it too much. We have chemistry, and things come out how they come out. It’s all about the energy and the conversation, rather than being analytical when we’re making it. We’re hyper-analytical about everything but in retrospect, which is a healthy way to work. We all came from art school so the rules, the expectations and the structures that are placed there, you’re constantly expected to be analytical about every step of the creative process but with Dream Wife, it’s about doing. It’s about understanding through doing. There’s a nostalgic element to the songs, but there’s also a lot of sincerity, and it’s fun too. You kill the magic if you overthink it.”
“This album, the light and shade, it should feel like a full picture. It’s embracing the emotions you feel and not funnelling them down to what’s digestible for people. The music is very responsive and the play between the music, the lyrics on the album, it’s about embracing every part of yourself and not feeling shit about that. It’s about feeling empowered. Everyone’s sensitive, everyone angry. Sometimes they feel happy; sometimes they feel sad. Sometimes people feel like they want to punch people. It’s this thing about girls being really noisy, girls being loud, girls being angry. It’s about being these things that society doesn’t expect from girls. It’s about flipping the script on what a girl can be. That was definitely in our hearts when it came to making this album. It’s noisy, but it’s still fun. There’s anger because things need to change but it doesn’t have to always be completely serious and a downer. The album is a positive, hopeful message rather than angry.”
Dream Wife has become bigger than the three of them. Working with other artists on remixes, teaming up with photographers to explore the visual side of their bond and helping create the Bad Bitches Club with their longterm friend Meg Lavender in which they find, celebrate and champion the people coming to their shows, collaboration is queen. “It’s about letting other people into the vision because things can become stronger for it.”
“There’s a part of the show now where Rakel will call up the Bad Bitches Club. It’s girls to the front. It’s about everyone being on the same level; it’s about us all being there together. It’s about solidarity, people that stand together with you and share the same frustrations but also the same energies, coming together on the same page.
“It’s interesting in a set where the whole crowd is singing ‘I am not my body, I am somebody’, and then two songs later that same crowd is all screaming ‘bitch’ together. It’s a conversation with everyone but in particular young girls. It feels like they have a space where they can speak about different issues. It’s amazing to feel like what you’re doing could mean something to somebody.
“Over the last year, it feels like we have seen a change in the people coming to our shows with girls feeling like they’re included in a rock show which is in its heritage intrinsically masculine. I never felt like I could just go to a show when I was younger. Obviously, everyone should come to our shows, but to create a space for young girls and to fly that flag, it’s an honour.
“I hope people feel pumped up by this album. I hope people listen to it before they go out, I hope people listen to it and you’re just getting the bus into college, and you feel alone. Maybe it’s something that can help you feel less alone. Music for me when I was younger, it made me feel like I was less alone, that there were others out there who shared my views in some way or I felt solidarity with just through listening to music. If it makes them believe in themselves in some way, any positive feeling can only be good.
“It’s about being heard, and if people feel like they can be heard and they’re not alone, it’s all good. Maybe the songs mean different things to different people but the fact it means something to people, that’s what it’s about. It’s a vital time to be having these conversations and hopefully changing people’s minds just by playing our rock shows.”
Dream Wife’s self-titled debut album is out now. Taken from the February 2018 issue of Upset. Order a copy now bellow.