“Juno,” Remi Wolf’s second album, and possibly even her best body of work yet, has slowly been digging me out of this little hole of school work and despair that I’ve dug myself in. Maybe something about the eccentric colors it evokes when listening or the vibrancy that spills out of each note and chord that really keeps you on your toes. You can’t be sad and listen to this album.
Standing at some music festival with my friend on hour three or four of waiting for the next performer, screams and cheers are heard from all the way across the festival grounds. The group of us whip our heads around to see this bold, colorful array of lights jumping across the stage. Even from so far away the vibes were very fun and very much felt, and a bit of envy came across me as I wished I could be a part of the crowd and not standing, impatiently, so far away. But the person creating these “vibes,” was unknown to me until much later. I later on learned that this enigmatic being was none other than Remi Wolf herself.
Maybe it was fate or just a coincidence, but her album came out a few days after. A whole entire 13-song body of work. I haven’t been able to stop listening since.
“On her new full-length, Juno, Wolf hones her scatterbrained Californian pop into an effervescent, hook-filled record that flirts with weighty emotions but often swerves for the safety of a joke,” Pitchfork contributor Adlan Jackson says.
The album includes bold sounds, strong harmonies and thoughtful references. Her song titled, “Anthony Kiedis,” is in direct reference to founding member and lead vocalist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Other songs name drop actors like Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton. Wolf has some other honorable mentions like UFC fighter Connor McGregor and DJ Peanut Butter Wolf.
“Juno,” the title of the album, was named after Wolf’s dog who was with her for every step of the process.
“Juno was there for the writing of every song on the album,” said Wolf. “He was my buddy every second of the day — peeing on the floor, puking everywhere.”
Despite being described as bright and hallucinogenic with the goal of being upbeat and danceable, “Juno” follows Wolf through many dark events that occured in her life like her journey towards sobriety.
Wolf’s songs exude such joy so much that at first listen you would never assume that she is discussing such serious and personal topics. She proves that there is no singular way to cope with issues. While many musicians use somber tones and slow tempos to analyze events in their lives in a more serious manner, Wolf proves that not everything needs to be serious. Sometimes the best way to mentally navigate through one’s emotions is to laugh about them and turn an intense subject into light hearted discourse.
Latesha Harris of NPR put it perfectly: “translating hard emotions into absurd sounds.” Rather than using the typical instruments, Wolf adds in auxiliary sounds like glass breaking and dogs barking that are maybe seen as unusual. But that’s what Wolf does, she is breaking down the boundaries of pop music.