Of late, the U.K. Charts have played host to a proliferation of soporific dullards; young men whining along to acoustic guitars in the name of authenticity, and young women anaesthetising songs to within an inch of their lives and offering them up to High Street stores.
Well don’t worry, because the antidote is here in the shape of Dream Wife. Formed in Brighton, the British / Icelandic band are the latest example of the power of three; a trio who sound as tightly knit as, by all accounts, they actually are in reality.
The band’s live shows have got them on the map so far, stage sets ranging from anything from space beaches to haunted graveyards. Now, Dream Wife take the next big step by issuing their eponymously titled debut album.
So, does it live up to the band’s early promise? The answer is an emphatic yes; anyone who attended a live Dream Wife show and worried that it wouldn’t translate into the studio will have their fears quelled the second that opener ‘Let’s Make Out’ bludgeons it’s way out of the speakers / earphones / docking station / computer. It’s a spirited start and the perfect introduction to the band. There’s plenty of space in the recording during the verse which leads into a triumphantly fuzzy chorus. Lead singer Rakel Mjöll has a distinctive voice which is somewhere between Courtney Love and Emiliana Torrini, and the other two (the brilliantly-named Alice Go on guitar and Bella Popadec on drums) complement Mjöll’s singing perfectly with backing vocals throughout.
The opening salvo of ‘Let’s Make Out’, ‘Somebody’ and the brilliant ‘Fire’ (a Kasabian cover. No it isn’t really) set the bar extremely high, the latter has an irresistable chorus and is one of many songs on the record that sounds like a potential single.
‘Hey Heartbreaker’ comes in like a heavier version of The Go-Go’s, while ‘Love Without Reason’ starts delicately, but builds in momentum and stature around its repeated mantras of “I feel like I love you without reason” and “Let’s be kids and fall in love”, a sentiment which carries nicely into the next track, ‘Kids’, a riffing guitar building an intoxicating backdrop for Mjöll to garnish with her frantic vocals.
‘F.U.U.’ is a pretty scary closing track and enlists fellow fuzz-poppers Feverdream to double the power and increase the tension, which they do nicely.
One of the strengths of the record is that the songs never outstay their welcome, it’s a giddy rush from one to the next and the whole thing is done within 35 minutes. Dream Wife is a highly impressive debut and could be just the thing to shake off that (late) January sluggishness.
Dream Wife is out now on Lucky Number.