KEXP Live at Iceland Airwaves 2016, Day 4: Dream Wife

Photos by Jim Bennett

Closing out a fantastic week of music live from KEX Hostel at Iceland Airwaves Music Festival were London-based power-pop trio Dream Wife. The band is comprised of London-based musicians Alice and Bella, and Icelandic singer Rakel, who are known for their super-fun performances and strange, beautiful music videos. It’s appropriate that the band originated as a performance art piece, as the trio were in art school together in Brighton. The formed the band to make a spinal tap-style mockumentary about a fake girl-band, but something must have struck them as being particularly “right” about this project, because they continued to pursue it after their project concluded, and have been on a steady upward trajectory ever since. Their music is delightful power-pop with punk chops, and their debut EP EP01 was released earlier this year, making waves in their native London and beyond. 

They came out kicking with “Lolita,” with a super tight bass line and uptempo beat, their punchy drums were shaking the floor under Rakel’s Gwen Stefani-favoring voice. Their set was perfect for a Saturday night show: raucous, dancey, and an all around good time. It felt like a band you’d want at your sweaty basement house party…one where the cops are called by neighbors no fewer than three times. Their set also included a guest appearance from Icelandic rapper Fever Dream, spitting rhymes during the wonderfully crude and bratty “FUU.” It seemed that the band was having just as much fun as the crowd, maintaining super high energy even after playing five other shows in the last couple days. Dream Wife describe their sound as “poolside pop with a bite,” which is perfectly applicable to “Kids,” an upbeat song with a warm, beachy feel interspersed with raw, Japandroids-esque guitars. They closed with their EP’s single “Hey Heartbreaker,” a punchy punk anthem reminiscent of The Runaways. Though they started as a fake band, there’s no faking this kind of talent, and we’re sure to see more great things from Dream Wife in the future.


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