A couple tracks into genre-bending pop artist Remi Wolf’s full-length debut, and it’s easy to see why she didn’t last too long on American Idol. That’s a compliment – she couldn’t have possibly felt at home distilling this multicoloured and uncontrollable explosion of sounds and hilariously surreal lyricism lurking within her for such a characteristically bland TV institution. Mixing together belted, soulful choruses, revved-up guitar solos, and funky interlocking rhythms, Wolf’s vocals are often processed to sound like she’s shouting them through a megaphone. The resulting songs are busy, but somehow never cluttered, the natural staccato bounce in Wolf’s voice making everything sound effortless.
Wolf has a tendency to juxtapose her most serious and her most silly lyrics, and it makes sense that she finds a way to confidently navigate the chaos with a massive hook in the same way she laughs off unexpectedly deep discussions on her struggles with addiction and opening up emotionally with quirky one-liners and puns about Cruella de Vil, having affairs with snack foods, and orgies at burger chains. Most of all, what makes Juno one of the year’s most appealing pop projects is just how much fun Wolf sounds like she’s having with the spontaneity of it all, as each track undergoes a couple shifts and Wolf’s powerful vocals hit new heights. It’s full of the unhinged attitude and off-the-cuff energy that has felt so impossible to achieve lately – and even though it’s a lot to take in, Wolf still manages to make you come away humming every melody.
Best Track: Quiet On Set