INTERVIEW: DREAM WIFE | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Brighton punk rockers Dream Wife have a clear manifesto when it comes to their music and live shows. Highly outspoken, with an activism streak which perfectly suits their forthright sound, vocalist Rakel Mjöll insists their forthcoming tour – which drops in at Newcastle University Students’ Union on Sunday 1st May – will be a fun and safe event, where abuse and discrimination will not be tolerated, and everyone will be encouraged to have a good time. “We’re all here to look out for each other, respecting each other’s boundaries…so let’s not let any arseholes ruin it!”

The rescheduled shows will promote the trio’s second album, So When You Gonna…, which was released back in 2020, and hasn’t had a chance to be played live. The band mixes the sounds of riot grrrl with a modern arty twist, and while their 2018 released self-titled debut album hit a high intensity, with tracks like Hey Heartbreaker establishing their noise rock credentials, the new album is much more playful, adding tinges of art rock and punk.

Rakel comments about the differing experiences of creating the releases. “Our first album was written quite fast, we only had like a week in a studio. It was super stressful, and not a very joyous experience. The second album we were like ‘Alright, we are not doing that again!’ We got a studio for a month, and had a wonderful team of women around us.”

It’s so important that everyone has a platform, and we really have to use that platform to support other people

Rakel is enthusiastic about the all-female team the band put together for the new album. “We were so fortunate. We had this incredible team around us, and it felt so safe to experiment and try things out. There are so few credited female producers because it’s such a boys game. When we went into this chart battle, we realised out of the top 40 albums that had potential to be in the top, this was the only album to have a credited female producer. We didn’t pick her because of her gender, we picked her because she was the best.”

This is one way in which the band merges their activism with their music, as Rakel explains. “That’s very much the ethos of Dream Wife…something that we had deliberately done, a small thing, creates a conversation. It’s so important that everyone has a platform, and we really have to use that platform to support other people.”

That supportive aspect of the band’s personality also comes through in their live shows thanks to their Tour Support Reimagined concept. “For this and our last headline tour, we did call outs asking for local bands which featured a member that is female, non-binary or trans to apply. Last time we did it we had 500 applications! Everyone needs an opportunity – if we do this, hopefully others will follow.”

The support for the Newcastle gig comes from the self-proclaimed ‘grave rave succubus’ noise of Straight Girl, who Rakel admires as “a force of nature. They start the show out by saying ‘Hi, I’m Straight Girl, and I’m not straight, and I’m not a girl’, and everyone’s like ‘yeah!’”

Dream Wife and Straight Girl play Newcastle University Students’ Union on Sunday 1st May.


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