Album Spotlight: Dream Wife – So When You Gonna…

Dream WifeDream Wife

So When You Gonna…

Words by Gary Lambert

Despite everything else happening in the world 2020 has been a wonderful year in terms of great albums from some of the bands championed for years by Popped Music.  And now we are only a few days from the release of the sophomore album of Dream Wife, so to celebrate the record I was able to chat to Alice Go about So When You Gonna….

How excited are you about So When You Gonna… being out in the world?

Alice Go: Very excited!  I think the slightly different context of this being released is a bit of a game changer. We had hoped to be able to play this at festivals this summer and share the music in a face-to-face way with with everybody. Ultimately though we still want to get this music out there to people, and hopefully during this difficult time for people, the record will mean something.  I think that we love the songs and the message this record passes on.  It feels like it is carrying things on from album one (Dream Wife by Dream Wife – GL) in terms of themes, what we are trying to say, and the flags we are trying to fly. We are genuinely really, really excited to get it out – albeit in a slightly different context to that what we originally thought.

 

From listening to the album, I feel there is a poppier American sound to it in comparison to the obvious rock tones of your debut. In fact, it sounds almost Californian in how you’ve been able to mix your rock guitars with laidback pop.

AG: Interesting that.  Nobody has said that yet to me.  It is interesting you say that because with the first album we recorded it in the space of a week, and a lot of those songs were written around and trialled at live shows, and it was always about trying to get the live sound down.But with this album So When You Gonna… we got to sit down and have space and time to write and record that we had never had before, so it became much more reflective of us.

So having that space to breathe meant that we were more enthusiastic to get back into the room to record it.  Having toured for two years and become this well-oiled machine as a band, then to get the chance to go into a room and just share ideas was great.  We hadn’t done that before.  We’d been touring, playing, and recording in-between shows, so for us to actually have the last year to write and record the album (which is what we did) it felt that there was a lot more space to consider ideas and to be reflective on them.

And it’s interesting that you get that laidback feel listening to the record because it does naturally have that because we were stood still for the first time in two years.  So we were able to be reflective, but I still think that the extremes on the album are being pushed.  It’s like on a song like Sports I’ve got guitar synth there, and so I was trying to push the sounds we make, but not being afraid to delve into more sensitive moments too.

 

Dream Wife Alice Go Kendal Calling 2019As a big fan of your first album it doesn’t disappoint me in any way.  Even though it is definitely poppier it sounds loud, and for me, there is this undercurrent of power to it all.

AG: That’s good to hear.  For me it is an elevation of what we did with the first album and now we have been able to do that on our own terms so to speak.  Yeah, yeah.  That’s a very nice way to put it, I really like that “undercurrent of power”.  We worked with a producer called Marta Salagoni and her engineer Grace Banks, and it was mastered Heba Kedry in New York so it was this amazing team of women we worked on it with. And I think it was ultimately hit in the studio holding those conversations with Marta, and she really understood that we weren’t aiming to make a pop album, but one that is pop but still has a growl and a bite, and that power that we have.

I think the way we recorded guitars and layered guitars, and just the conversations me and Marta had around the guitar sounds and layers has, like you said, led to us still having that power driving underneath.  It was definitely seen as refining that and honing it in, and I used a lot of e-bow on this album, and I was using a Vox amp and also my Marshall amp.  It was the mix of soft sort-of sprinkles on top of this driving hidden layer.  Marta really understood what we were trying to get there.  The balance of the power of the songs with a pop sensibility.  For me, I feel it is well balanced in terms of what we meant to be in the record.  It hasn’t lost the power, but it is definitely more pop.  But we always have been pop in a way.  It’s like a strange crossbreed really.  I am just very happy with it.

 

More than at any stage in my twenty plus years of going to gigs and buying music, there seems to be a distinct difference between the live music of bands and their recorded output.  There are a lot of bands who perform with a lot more raw power than their albums suggest.  Because of that juxtaposition, I’m really excited to see the songs from So When You Gonna… performed live.

AG: At the start of the year we did a secret show that was filmed, and played a lot of the new tracks there.  I wasn’t too sure about how we translate this record to the live arena and keep the energy whilst also getting sensitive with it.  But actually it was really, really exciting.  It was like having new toys to play with kind of.  All these new sounds we have and noises we can make, oh yes.  For instance, we played our song Sports and it was just incredible.  The response to that was just wild.  It was almost like FUU.  It had that wild, unchained feeling to it.  There is something very considered and controlled on record for this album, but live it’s going to be really interesting to see how it translates.  But so far it has been exciting material to put into the live space.

 

Buy a copy of So When You Gonna… here.  I’ve already got my multi-coloured vinyl ordered as I’m a fanboy who still can’t believe he got to do this.

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Instagram: @dreamwifeband

Twitter: @dreamwifemusic

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