This week’s PYTs are a really exciting young rock band who have been turning heads with their combination of driving riffs and gorgeous aesthetic. The band consists of three friends who met at art school in Brighton: Rakel Mjöll on lead vocals, Alice Go on guitar and Bella Podpadec on bass. Almost intimidatingly cool, they burst onto the scene in a flurry of punk rock and pink eyeshadow.
Dream Wife are a breath of fresh air in the typically male-dominated arena of rock’n’roll. They have an air of deadliness, modern day Porphyrias looking like they could strangle you with Rakel’s long blonde hair, or one of their guitar strings. Somewhat at odds with their hard stares are their fun, bouncy chorus lines and playful lyrics. They write what they want, perform it how they like and – as long as you’re dancing – seem not to care what you think.
Rakel Mjöll photographed by Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee
Dream Wife play with the ideals of femininity; their name mocks the ever-so-slightly-patriarchal description of young women and most likely preempts the longing of some of their fans. Dream Wife are my favourite types of feminists in that they don’t apologise for their femininity or attractiveness. They are all young and gorgeous, wear ultra-feminine clothes/ make up (look at Rakel’s lipstick!) and posed in front of a pink background for their album artwork.
Bella Podpadec photographed by Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee
Last week the band played London’s Heaven to rave reviews, where they made sure they created space for their female fans. Telling the men to “show some respect and move the fuck away,” they encouraged young ladies in the audience to come to the front and be the “bad bitches” they are. HOW GREAT IS THAT?! I, personally, have struggled to make room for myself at the barrier of multiple gigs, especially when the music is heavy and loud. A well placed elbow in the ribs sometimes does the job, but often the sweaty stomachs of men (why must they take their tops off?) act as a repellent. If you’ve ever had your face pressed against a man’s sticky tit you know what I’m talking about. Thank God for bands like Dream Wife, therefore, who appreciate that men often think rock gigs are their thing and do their best to make room for us.
Alice Go photographed by Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee
In January, Dream Wife released their debut album which cemented their status as bright new stars on the scene. I first heard their excellent single ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, a lighthearted love/hate song dedicated to their boyfriend (who happens to be married with children), the eponymous heartbreaker. Rakel speak/sings in a confident and unhurried way, unapologetically cursing the man for messing her and his wife around in a refreshing narrative. Their songs all tell interesting stories full of self-affirming messages we can all get behind. It’s not always overt; in ‘Somebody’ the story is implicit:
“You were a cute girl standing backstage
It was bound to happen
You had a smile across your face
It was bound to happen
What you wore and how you bore it so well
What did you expect would happen?”
The chorus of “I am not my body/ I am somebody” encapsulates what this band is all about. It also makes great merch (see below).
Photo Credit: Meg Lavender
Dream Wife have some excellent videos which range from simple spotlights in ‘Somebody’, to animated adventures in ‘Hey Heartbreaker’, to a female wrestling extravaganza featured in ‘FUU’. Original and humorous, these are definitely worth a watch.
There is no shortage of badass women in the music industry, but the amount of female punk rockers breaking the mainstream is disappointingly low. Thankfully, Dream Wife are doing their bit to represent the scene, touring relentlessly around the country and doing their thing all over social media. They’re doing the festival circuit this summer, so if you see them on the bill head straight to the barrier and take up some room, girl. It’s what Dream Wife would want.