Album Review: Dream Wife - 'So When You Gonna…'

Plucky, powerful and teeming with unbridled energy, the sophomore record from London punk trio Dream Wife tackles yet more thorny topics with ease and flair. Isabelle Felton unpicks the seams of perhaps the band's most multifarious record to date.

After months of eagerly waiting, the time has finally come for feminist band Dream Wife’s sophomore album, So When You Gonna…, to bless our ears. After two polar opposite singles, Sports! and Hasta La Vista were released in March and April respectively, it was clear that this second album was going to be far from just a repeat of the first.

The band have had a successful few years; consistently touring since the release of their sparky self-titled debut record in 2018, and have been praised for their energetic discography and performances. Dream Wife are distinctively Riot Grrrl, both in their music and mentality, and this can be seen no more strongly than in their choice of lyrical subject matter. They are outspoken about sexism and the objectification of women, and their music is loud and lively; exactly what we need to hear in an industry dominated by men.

Photo Credit: Sarah Piantadosi

The band continues to tackle taboo subjects with unperturbed sensitivity, such as abortion in After the Rain, which centres around the powerful message that it is up to a woman to decide what happens to her body. There also appears to be a theme of musing and reflection lingering beneath the surface of the record, most likely because this record comes after some years on the road.

‘The tone of the songs may shift from track to track, but the power of the topics they sing about does not.’

Dream Wife seem to have acquired a new-found wisdom and astuteness during their time in the music industry, and Validation in particular, stands out for this reason. The song explores how we all search desperately for approval from others in order to like ourselves, and feels somewhat like a reflection upon the trio’s younger selves - searching for validation which they have since learnt to no longer need. The tone of the songs may shift from track to track, but the power of the topics they sing about does not.

In summation, Dream Wife’s sophomore album does not disappoint. The mettlesome trio have perfectly balanced mixing up their music, while still preserving the sparky and spirited sound that their fans both know and love. Perhaps the next album will see them drift ever further from their punk roots, but what is certain is that Dream Wife will continue to demand that their voice be heard in an industry swamped by all-male festival headliners. It’s an exciting wait to see what comes next.