Island · October 15, 2021
Remi Wolf’s latest release Juno has the energy of a carnival and the narrative of a villain origin story. Despite at first appearing as a chaotic mix of crazy drum beats like most of her other songs, the album dives deep into addiction and toxic relationships. Along with a handful of Wolf’s previous hit singles like “Disco Man,” “Photo ID,” and “Liz,” the newly released songs are refreshing and emotional. Her new songs are still colorful and quirky like the entirety of Wolf’s discography. Unlike her other hits, she takes a lot of risks by revealing darker sides of her life and personality through electrically vibrant music.
In interviews prior to the album’s release, Wolf confessed to going to rehab for her alcohol addiction. Wolf mentions drinking alcohol consistently throughout the whole album, likely hinting at the fact that she was using it as a crutch to get through the struggles of adulthood. She begins the story of her poisonous relationship that makes her feel insane in the song “Quiet on Set.” She starts the narrative of Juno speaking about struggling while “everything’s shut down” during the pandemic and later starts to sing about a partner. Her analogies are unorthodox but genius. “Buttermilk ” is a perfect example, describing the highs and lows of her relationship like buttermilk, which is good for a short period of time and then quickly turns sour. Taking the narrative even further, she paints herself as the “sexy villain” that her partner turned her into, singing “I can move to Pasadena just to be your serial killer.” It seems like she fully acknowledges that the relationship she is in brings out the worst in her, but she is dependent on her partner. This introspection makes the album an interesting study of Wolf’s inner psyche where she explores her strengths and weaknesses but admits that she does not have the strength to change and help herself.
The tone of the album was set by Wolf and Solomonophonic, who co-produced almost every song of the album. It has a homogeneous sound packed with catchy phrases in every chorus, but despite it’s juvenile appearance and sound, the lyrics are extremely introspective. This style reflects Wolf’s personality that she displayed in an interview with The New York Times where she described her struggle to change and grow into an adult. The way she manipulates sound to fit her personality and bends genres is surprisingly professional. Her style doesn’t fit into the usual mind-numbing electric pop that people hear on the radio and although her voice carries the grit of rock, it’s still too synthesized to qualify. Juno is more of a rock-funk-pop mix, revealing her complexities as a producer and a singer.
Although every song sounds alike, each one is complex and reflects Wolf’s personality. In future albums she has the potential to diversify her sound and create more highs and lows instead of hiding her struggles behind electric beats and melodies. Juno leaves more room for Wolf to grow as both a person and a figure in the music industry. Don’t be fooled by her colorfully eclectic appearance – Remi Wolf has a lot to bring to the table.