2, 4, 6, 8 we appreciate… dream wife
Dream Wife is the English-Icelandic girl band making poolside pop with an icy bite
Dream Wife started out as a fantasy… literally. Rakel, Alice and Bella played their first gig as part of a performance art project about an imaginary girl band, stuck in their dreams of the 90s and Canada. Following the performance, they released a few songs and a mockumentary, working their magic so well that they started getting booked for gigs around England. Turning the fantasy into reality, they embarked on a tour of Canada over the summer, which lead to signing to Enfer Records and an ever-growing fan base. Now a fully functional band, the trio are on their way to the top - via a gig at the Old Blue Last this Saturday 7 February.
Citing influences as varied - but somehow coherent - as Grimes, David Bowie, The Spice Girls, Kim Gordon, Ariel Pink and Sleater-Kinney, Dream Wife ooze with girl power. As we await their debut EP (due March), what promises to be an Aaliyah-inspired music video, and their dreamy DreamWorld zine, it's time you got to know this lot. 2, 4, 6, 8… who do we appreciate? Dream Wife!
2 things Dream Wife hope 2015 will bring…
1. A mental record
"We have just finished recording our debut EP in a studio in Hackney and it will be released by Enfer in March this year. We are very excited! The record will be followed by tours and adventures."
"So much love."
4 favourite hangouts in Dream Wife's hometowns…
1. Graveyards (Reykjavik)
"We love hanging out in graveyards in general. The oldest graveyard in downtown Reykjavik is our favourite one. It's full of trees - despite the fact that there are hardly any trees in Iceland. It was customary that a tree would be planted over a grave so the soul would live on in the tree. Lots of poets live in those trees, so it's a good place to find clarity, and eat jelly and ice cream."
2. Green Door Store (Brighton)
"A small venue in Brighton underneath the railway arches. We played some of our first shows there and have spent many wild nights dancing on the cobbled stones."
3. Paloma (Reykjavik)
"Alice claims she had a stare down with Björk at this joint. The rest of us never saw it and Björk denies it. It's a club in Reykjavík. The upstairs bar is a Viking ship. The downstairs bar is called Café Black Out. Rakel knows everyone in there. We played a mental show there for the opening of Iceland Airwaves Festival a few months ago. We lost Bella at one point. We found her again. We managed to catch our flight."
4. Bella's bedroom (Brighton)
"That's where the magic happens... where we practice and write all our songs."
6 people who influence Dream Wife's aesthetic…
"She plays with the fantasy of the female image and is the perfect mythological pop icon."
"Firstly, she is Canadian (<3). She is a daring, modern pop artist; so much respect."
3. Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna
"Inspirational D.I.Y. queen."
4. Nick Cave
"A true Brighton legend. 20,000 Days on Earth blew our minds."
5. Young Leonardo DiCaprio
"The dream boat. We are currently making a Young Leo shrine, so if you have any 90s era Leo posters get in touch. Post-2000 Leo will not be accepted and will be sent back."
6. David Lynch's women
"Beautiful, powerful, and seriously fucked up."
8 fun facts about Dream Wife…
1. "Dream Wife formed at art school in Brighton less than a year ago."
2. "Bella's first ever drink was a mango daiquiri that Rakel made her. Bella was too shy to tell Rakel it was the first time she felt tipsy. This information only surfaced a year later. After she dyed her hair blue."
3. "When we were touring Canada last summer there was a heat wave going on. We became obsessed with an iced tea drink called Arizona. We even made a song about it. In hope of sponsorship."
4. "Rakel is Icelandic. But she grew up partly in California. Her accent is confusing.
5. "We dream in pastel colours only."
6. "Alice is a hoarder of vintage electronics: audio equipment, modified guitars, old TVs and Casio keyboards to name a few. She moved house the other day: it became a problem."
7. "At our first show we formed a head-banging human pyramid and Alice played a guitar solo on top of it. Since then we've been asked to repeat the act at every show and sometimes we indulge."
8. "One of our songs from the forthcoming debut EP started out as a love letter to a 60-year-old Italian concierge who was working at the Brooklyn penthouse apartment Rakel stayed at whilst we were in New York."
Text Luna Cohen-Solal
Photography Meg Lavender