Remi Wolf’s debut album is an explosion of color, and I don’t just mean the music videos. Listening to Juno is like being in an arcade room, jumping excitedly from one machine to another, simply having to try them all. You might have heard Wolf’s music before, in the TikTok version of Photo ID. This song was peppy and catchy, something you’d find yourself humming without realising it. And her debut album, Juno, truly exceeds the expectations this song set up.
Juno opens with “Liquor Store”, a perfect example of the eclectic energy her music brims with. Her lyrics are filled with whack things you’d say to your friends, and then reel from the amusement of what you just said:
Wolf’s sudden, vivid, and delightfully random lyrics are one of the most attractive features of her music and this album. The appeal of the lyrics also lies in their specificity. Wolf sings to you like you’ve known each other for a long time, so she doesn’t need to explain everything. She’s simply saying whatever is on her mind.
The lyrics of her songs move the way our minds do- flitting from thought to thought, unfiltered and unpredictable. What does “hot potato pain” mean?? We don’t know, but the mere stringing of these words together is amusing. She sings it with meaning, and I try to see what sense I can make of it. But it’s best when I don’t do that, because her songs feel like they’re reflecting our head-spaces, and rarely do our minds make a whole lot of sense. These songs are a chance to feel that the chaos of our thoughts, the thoughts before we make them neat and palatable for others, is understood.
The catchiness of the album doesn’t just have to do with the lyrics. It’s the way she sings it, the way in “Sexy Villain”, the “cool” leaps up from the other words. It’s the way she pronounces “Buttermilk”, quick, blunt, and still restrained. It’s the almost monotonous tone to the way she sings “Anthony Kiedis”, which stands out against the more jumpy parts of the song.
Every song in this album has its own specific vibe, which makes it perfect for a variety of moods. “Quiet on Set?” Turn it up for a mini-dance sesh after a super tiring day. “Street You Live On?” It’s for when you’re really not over your ex but at least this way you’re also vibing. “Sexy Villain?” Honestly, you can listen to it whenever, because there isn’t really a bad time to feel like a sexy villain.
Wolf’s lyrical and musical style especially suits the emotions spread across the album, and adds an extra layer to them. You’re never just sad, or just exhausted, or just sexy. The various elements at play expand the range of how multifaceted an emotion can be, which feels calming, because it makes the emotion free to be however it wants and, in extension, the listener.
Remi Wolf stretches her sounds, vocals, and lyrics in all the ways she can, almost like a character in a fantasy novel exploring magical caves and shores to see just how much they can find. And she fills her music with all the things she has found, but never in a way that feels like too much. Rather, listening to Juno is like eating popping candy, which pops rather pleasantly and unexpectedly, and always leaves you wanting more.