The three members of the band Dream Wife
Credit: Sophie Webster

Dream Wife – Social Lubrication (Lucky Number)

Dream Wife have released their third album Social Lubrication via Lucky Number. The London-based trio of vocalist Rakel Mjöll (she/her), guitarist Alice Go (she/her) and bassist Bella Podpadec (they/them) continue to shake up the patriarchy. The lyrics from the first single ‘Leech’ are unambiguous:

The gatekeepers, the so-called legends
Ya boys gonna let the girls play?
Or are they merely ornaments on display?

One of the main themes of Social Lubrication is empathy, rather than the dominance of self perpetuating systems to keep those in power along with underhand codes of silence and a lack of compassion for society as a while. Bella explains the importance of empathy:

“Empathy is what allows us to collaborate, to build things together and to make things that are larger than the individual. But there is also a lot about modern society that denies us access to that, and teaches us that it’s bad or dangerous.”

Opener ‘Kick in the Teeth’ is a ferocious rock banger with vocalist Rakel Mjöll singing:

I spent so much of this youth questioning my value
Lolita’s all grown up now, who knew?

The scene is set, with the confirmation that outdated systems and attitudes must be questioned. This continues with ‘Who Do You Wanna Be?’. The lyrics blasting out: “what would you do? If you were in the situation.” However Dream Wife also wholeheartedly embrace having fun. On standout single ‘Hot (Don’t date a Musician)‘ they take aim at musicians but are also self aware enough to be self-deprecating too:

Don’t date a musician
They’ll think you’re competition
I was never competition
I was just… hot.

Rakel shares the following of the track:

“Dating musicians is a nightmare. Evoking imagery of late night make-outs with fuckboy/girl/ambiguously-gendered musicians on their mattress after being seduced by song-writing chat. The roles being equally reversed. Having a laugh together and being able to poke fun at ourselves is very much at the heart of this band. This song encapsulates our shared sense of humour. Sonically it is the lovechild of CSS and Motorhead. It has our hard, live, rock edge combined with cheeky and playful vocals.”

The shortest track on Social Lubrication is ‘I Want You‘, a forthright ode to desire. The confidence of Dream Wife on this album is extraordinary. It’s entirely self written and self produced and they have continued to grow using music as a vessel to confront outdated unacceptable behaviours and attitudes, but with humour and an explosive energy which is all inclusive.

On ‘Curious’ the life lesson is there, freedom and the openness to explore sexuality: “She loves you but she’s curious about her love for me”. sings Rakel, not only that but she references her grandma:

“My grandma is 85
She tells me she’s finally peaking,
And just about ripe”

And then that chorus:

I feel too sexy to listen to my friends
I feel too sexy to listen to my friends.”

Social Lubrication is packed full of sexual references all wrapped in playfulness and with humour. The guitars of Alice and Bella provide electrifying instrumentation, rocking and rollicking created scuzzy vibes and thrilling riffs.

On title track ‘Social Lubrication’, Dream Wife pointedly attack the “patriarchal bullshit”, from “unsolicited advice regarding behaviour” to gendered violence:

What’s it like to be a woman in music, dear?
You’d never ask me that if you regarded me as your peer.

Sadly this can be applied over and over in society. Dream Wife actively practise what they preach with numerous initiatives. Proceeds from direct digital sales of So When You Gonna… went to Black Minds Matter and Gendered Intelligence. In 2021, the band released a megamix for Rainbow Mind, a mental health charity for LGBTQIA people, with contributions from Shirley Manson, The Big Moon, Big Joanie and Girli among others.

At the heart of this album is the live show. Alice, who produced the album, continues:

“The live show is the truth of the band. That’s at the heart of what we do and of the statements we’re making. We wanted to get that rawness and energy across in a way that hadn’t been done before.”

Social Lubrication is a thrillingly intoxicating album. It’s spine-tingling in its themes and presented wrapped in dirty riffs and choruses built for dancing together in shared spaces. Indeed the aim is to celebrate community and bring down the societal barriers which look to prevent connection, playfulness, curiosity and sexual empowerment.

The final word goes to Alice who shares:

“Music is one of the only forms of people experiencing an emotion together in a visceral, physical, real way. It’s cathartic to the systemic issues that are being called out across the board in the record. Music isn’t the cure, but it’s the remedy. Calling the record Social Lubrication harks to that. It’s the positive glue that can create solidarity and community.”

For more information on Dream Wife please check their facebook and instagram.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.