Remi Wolf is pop’s newest it girl

Juno, Remi Wolf

The music industry sits in a very interesting position. In the ongoing pandemic, artists are finding an increasing number of ways to connect with fans, market themselves, and maintain the diminishing attention spans of their global audiences.

This ‘in one ear, out the other’ mentality makes it difficult to make a lasting impact across genres, especially when it comes to pop music. New young artists have shorter album cycles. Artists like Olivia Rodrigo are already ideating on a second album within their first year of release. Others like Billie Eilish, who is only the 3rd year of her label supported career, have been deemed to be in their sophomore slump that much quicker than their predecessors.

In these fast times, it’s tough to break the track record. Enter Remi Wolf.

A 25 year-old California native, Remi Wolf has been through periods of growth already. She debuted on American Idol in 2014 while still in high school. A few years later, she attained a degree from USC’s Thornton School of Music.

It wasn’t until 2019 when Wolf debuted her first EP, You’re a Dog!

The collection’s 2000s retro photo booth aesthetics and funk infused pop sound caught the eyes of a pretty large audience for an indie artist. Continuing that motif with the impeccable I’m Allergic to Dogs EP, Wolf remained persistent in cementing her fresh take on what pop music should and can sound like in 2020.

Finally this year, Remi Wolf officially arrived in the form of her debut album Juno, you guessed it, named for her dog and best friend through quarantine. While its named for and inspired by her dog, the album is an encapsulation of the complex, wholly unique mind of the artist at the helm.

For the most part, Juno enriches the electropop-funk sonics of Wolf’s first two EPs. Spotlighting some of the most creative songwriting in pop, the album is a sweeping showcase of intricacies of a young person navigating their 20s throughout a pandemic, the minefield of social life, and the relationship pool.

Its presentation is laid back, loose and free, but the songs feel intricate and lived in. On “Liquor Store,” Wolf opens the album discussing her alcoholism and relationship insecurities. With songs like “Guerrilla,” the songstress weaves together a fresh narrative of the warfare that comes with a house party. On “wyd” and “Quiet On Set,” she delves into the growing demands of an artist seeing success and the pressure thereafter that comes from the team surrounding her with branding, marketing, and unsolicited (wink) wisdom.

The album also delves deeply into modern romance and relationships. The closer, “Street You Live On,” takes a common theme and drenches it in vocal pitching and a poppy backbeat. The track, along with others like “Volkiano,” exemplify Wolf’s willingness for vulnerability.

Lyrics like Volkiano’s “I’m a flunk, I’m a dead white lighter. You have spunk you’re a twelve-leg spider,” detail her attitudes toward a lover in a way not many others can. The song’s metaphor of an explosive, volcanic relationship is just one of many that makes Wolf’s music so compelling.

Wolf turns vulnerability into power, flipping the script on “Sexy Villain.” Her best “bad guy” impression, the laid back tune is an album highlight. It presents a confident character in Remi, adopting a bravado through sleek guitar backing and creative storytelling.

In fact, what continues to set Remi Wolf apart from her pop contemporaries is her inventive lyricism and production on these tracks. The songwriting takes familiar themes and applies so many new angles and approaches.

With its rule-breaking and inventive free spirit, Juno easily takes the prize of the best pop album to release in 2021. It appears Remi Wolf will likely become pop’s newest it girl.

Catch her touring with Lorde on the Solar Power tour and her own solo run in support of Juno early next year.


Fall Favorites: Best New Music

If music is in the age of the independent artist, then 2020 is the renaissance of innovation. Forced isolation and physical entrapment has led to an escapism in creativity from a never before seen scope. This forced reality alteration has proven its profound impact on musicians. With more music coming out and new ways of releasing and promoting it, this is one of the few industries to find enrichment throughout this time (though we of course all miss our live shows).

This season, check out the below EPs from new and up-and-coming artists injecting their own DNA into the veins of the global music ecosystem.

I’m Allergic to Dogs! Remi Wolf

I’m Allergic to Dogs! – Remi Wolf

Remi Wolf is one of the most creative songwriters to breakout this year. “He likes his cherries when they’re Maraschino, he likes his movies when they’re Tarantino,” she asserts on standout track “Disco Man.” The set is incredibly fun and demands a few repeats with every listen. Funk, pop, and indie electronica provide a compelling backdrop from a lyricist unafraid to explore the facets of herself and share them with the world.

For fans of: Cautious Clay, Ryan Beatty, BROCKHAMPTON

Skofee, Signs From The Universe Entertainment

Polished – Skofee

The self-proclaimed “Beverly Hillbilly,” singer-songwriter Skofee impresses with a debut EP well beyond its years in maturity and artistic integrity. The 5-song set, released earlier this month, largely tells tales of loss, heartache, and self doubt. Amply titled, its juxtaposes the artist’s internal strife with a vocal performance so self-assured it beckons skepticism of how novel this artist really is. Indie pop has never been so emotionally affecting. Prepare to cry in the club (looking at you, “Bleach”).

For fans of: Tove Lo, Charli XCX, BANKS

Good Things, Atlantic

Good Things – Wafia

Wafia has been around for quite a while now. Her biggest hit remaining the Louis The Child collaboration “Better Not,” the multicultural alt-pop craftsman has yet to make her own mark on the pop sphere. That’s not to say the artist isn’t locked and loaded with some of the most powerful and introspective bangers. From “I’m Good” to this project’s “Flowers & Superpowers” and “Good Things,” Wafia balances vulnerability and confidence in a relatable way. This project has both, stitched together by a strong woman finding her way in life and love.

For fans of: Empress Of, King Princess, Lennon Stella

On Self Loathing, McCall

On Self Loathing – McCall

It’s endlessly impressive for any artist to be able to encapsulate internal anxiety and stress. A hidden battle, it often goes unnoticed by others. With her latest project, On Self Loathing, McCall powerfully achieves this. Both in sonics and lyricism, the artist is able to pinpoint the thought pathways that carry people through waves of depression. Beginning with “Nothing Even Wrong,” a dreamy, Bon Iver inspired opener, the artist volunteers her struggle to find the source problem for the feeling of hollow sadness. “I’m sorry I can’t come out, I really hate myself right now,” she secedes on the bouncy “Without Even Trying.” Endlessly honest, On Self Loathing forces listeners to think of the parts of themselves they shy away from, painting a relatable portrait for everyone.

For fans of: Bon Iver, The 1975, The Japanese House