Dream Wife is more than just a band, Dream Wife is a way of life. You’ll struggle to find a tighter knit trio than the fabulously fierce Rakel Mjöll (vocals), Alice Go (guitar) and Bella Podpadec (bass), whose art school roots have informed their all-encompassing aesthetic and sharp eye for detail. This band aren’t just about bashing out insanely good guitar bangers that conjure up visions of Blondie by way of Bikini Kill, ESG and Pat Benetar – though on the songs that make up their debut album, out 2018, they certainly do that too – they’re about creating a wonderful world to dive into headfirst and everyone is invited along for the ride.
“We’re definitely a pop band,” explains Alice of their sound and style, which worships at the twin totems of David Bowie and Madonna. “I don’t think there’s any shame in that. There’s the assumption that pop doesn’t have integrity, but that’s not true.” Integrity is not something Dream Wife are short on. A scene unto themselves, their gigs are a riot of handmade props and stage sets that cover everything from space beaches to haunted graveyards, while their finely tuned show is the product of extreme DIY beginnings. Despite only having four songs, in their very early days they took themselves off out on the road, without a booking agent, promoter or a tour manager. “We were a wild band,” says Alice. “In fact, we were basically feral.” Somehow, it worked and Dream Wife had tours of Europe and Canada under their belts before they even entertained the idea of getting serious representation. “We didn’t have any idea what we were doing but we still did it,” says Rakel of their somewhat unconventional start.
Despite the fact that they’re now fully ensconced in the London scene, their self-starting outsider status has stuck with them, lending everything a whisper of weirdness and a whole lot of passion. The band’s commitment to collaboration means they’re also a melting pot for the young, unconventional creatives who are involved with making Dream Wife one of those magical multi-media happenings around. “At the start we didn’t know what it would be,” explains Alice. “It still feels like we could do a lot of things with this project.” Deeply involved in the visual side of the group, they’ve worked with the likes of feminist photographer Francesca Allen, Ione Gamble of the cult Polyster zine and artist Meg Lavender who as well as creating high-concept, low-budget photoshoots for the band, is also currently on a recruitment drive for the Bad Bitch Club, a fan-first collective of the tough, talented no-shit women who can be found in a Dream Wife crowd. “It’s not just about us three. The band aren’t on a different level to the fans,” says Alice. “It’s much more fun to let people in,” adds Rakel. “That’s why our shows are so good!”
It’s the songs too that make the shows, from the fiery fury of the Spice Girls-referencing ‘FUU’ to the new wave politico-pop of ‘Somebody’ and euphoric old school indie hit ‘Fire’. These are songs in the classic mould – big, beautiful and crazily catchy. And, of course, there’s the three dynamic women at the band’s core. Alice is convinced the group’s drive and dedication comes from the fact they’re all fire symbols. “We’re a power trio,” she says. “There’s a crazy energy between us.” Bella is in agreement; “It is magic when we’re together.” Get ready to fall under Dream Wife’s spell.