Dream Wife have a new album coming out in July, ahead of that release Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody had a chat with Rakel Mjöll.
Dream Wife should probably have been on the road right now, touring the soon to be released second album So When You Gonna …
But that’s clearly not going to happen for some time.
And that is a shame because they are a ferocious live act.
But for now we’ll have to defer that pleasure and rely instead on the recorded output.
Recently second single Hasta La Vista and follow up So When You Gonna… from the album were released.
A glorious piece of pop that proves the band does have a softer side away from the, admittedly splendid, more grunge feel of a lot of the first album.
But that doesn’t really signify a complete change of direction as lead singer Rakel Mjöll told us from lock down in Iceland.
It was just that she wanted a ballad or two on this album and she managed to keep it that way.
The new album will be released on July 3.
Go below the fold to catch up on our chat with Rakel.
Getintothis: Were are you and what are you doing?
Rakel Mjöll: I’m just back from taking my sister’s dog out for a walk.
Her name is Bella and she’s looking at the door because she doesn’t want to go back in. I’m in Reykjavik. The weather is grey, but it’s still nice. I’m into a grey day, occasionally.
Getintothis: We’ve heard a couple of the songs on the new album, Sports and Hasta La Vista, they don’t seem quite as angry as your earlier material. Would that be fair?
RM: Angry? Hmm… I think there’s a range of emotions, lets put it that way. But there is more to come.
The next song [to be released] is more powerful. I do enjoy a good scream. I studied opera and jazz vocals and apparently when you mix the two together, that’s a scream.
Getintothis: We’ve seen you play in Liverpool a couple of times.
RM: I love playing in Liverpool.
Getintothis: It’s a somewhat unfortunate time to be releasing a record at the moment.
RM: Most definitely. Especially as we are [mostly] a live band. We started about five years ago and we have just played relentlessly.
Then last year we thought we’d have some nice calm time to write the album, to focus on that this year. At least I know how to be chilled, now.
Getintothis: Had you got gigs lined up?
RM: Oh, yeah. There were about 80 for this year, in America, Europe and the UK. But, I guess that will all disappear, or get postponed.
We hadn’t announced [the dates] yet. That’s the plus. We also had quite a few festivals lined up. I’ve sort of accepted it now, in my heart.
A few weeks ago, I just accepted it and from then it was almost like a light. This is just something that humans are not going to be doing for at least half a year.
Getintothis: There’s some talk in the UK to the effect there may not be any gigs at all this year.
RM: Yeah, that’s likely. We’ve moved all of ours to next year. That’s the safest thing, really.
Getintothis: You’ve made the point already that there was an all-female team involved in producing, mixing and engineering the album.
RM: Yeah, we got really lucky. We had the chance to work with a producer called Marta Salogni.
Her CV is incredible. She’s a very talented producer, but she also mixes a lot and she can engineer – she has all those trades.
So it was incredible working with someone who knows exactly … well, everything. Every single part of the studio, the sound.
She’s also very chilled. She doesn’t have any ego. It was amazing working with her.
Getintothis: Did she have much influence on the sound of the new record?
RM: Most definitely. For any producer, its a collaboration.
For us, as a band, its different from being a solo artist. But we had done a lot of the pre-production ourselves and we were 90% done with the songs, but we still had a little room for the magic to happen from the collaboration in the studio.
Marta picked the team. That was great. And having an all female team made it really relaxed and chilled.
We had a really wonderful time. We spent a full month in a studio in London Fields (Pony Studios), which for us was quite luxurious as the last album was recorded in about five days and we had two shows at the same time.
The studio is quite new – I think we were one of the first bands to record there. It was a really wonderful time.
Marta works a lot with tape, has all of these wonderful ideas. It really feels like a collaboration. It wasn’t a kind of push and pull.
We really liked that. It was incredible working with an all female team as well. And realising how rare that was. We [later] found out that something like 3% of albums last year were made by women.
That just blew our minds. We were told there are still studios that won’t hire women. That is something we need to shine a light on.
Getintothis: Can you recommend a band or an artist you think we should be listening to right now?
RM: Do you know Nova Twins?
Getintothis: Oh, yes.
RM: They are one of my favourite bands. The style of music and the energy they bring to the stage. And they sew all their outfits.
The videos are like being allowed to enter into their creative world and their minds. They are easily one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. I’m amazed they aren’t huge by now.
Getintothis: Anything else you want to tell us?
RM: I’m really excited for the new album. Going back to your earlier question, there are songs that are definitely raw. But I did want to write a ballad – most of our ballads end up being “not a ballad”.
So, for this album I wanted some ballads and we actually managed to do that. Hasta La Vista is our Blondie track.