Student reflects on musical experimentation

I’m Allergic to Dogs! is described as a playful experience of sound and instrumentation


Elly Honaker, Staff Writer

Remi Wolf released her sophomore EP I’m Allergic to Dogs! in June of last year and in five songs ,it encapsulates a kind of resiliency and ecstatic power only her special strain of funky-disco-pop can unleash. Her upbeat, excitable hooks meld with a powerful voice that feels like an antidote to the dreary time we find ourselves in. To put on this EP is to enter a different world, one that shoots out in kaleidoscopic colors, where electric guitars dance like feet on hot pavement and where Prince is somehow still alive. Wolf seems to own this alternate universe, as she delivers a sound unlike any other Indie artist I’ve heard in recent years.

What I think separates Wolf the most is her sense of humor. She does not take herself seriously, though she certainly has the technical skill that would allow for that. The themes of her music stem from hilarious observations that are aided by kitschy background dings and bells, her own voice layers over itself endlessly and as the song swells, all these elements collide with one another ensuring an earworm that lingers long after you listen to it.

“Hello, Hello, Hello” depicts a girl suspicious of her lover cheating on her. She trusts her intuition, suspecting that he now gets up early to answer calls from the other woman. The almost samba-like guitar that lulls the song creates an air of “live and let live,” as this song does not seem to focus on any negative effects of being cheated on. It rather sees Wolf decide to leave the situation and regain her control. She creates humorous fantasies of her lover being vegetarian when “he’s with his other baby,” regaining a sense of self from a situation that could otherwise be extremely deflating. The whistling and dog-like panting in the background points to the title of the EP, as it feels as if she is coming to terms with being cheated on in a humorous way. This song has a fun and exciting sonic arrangement, but it also just feels refreshing to witness an artist capable of laughing at herself.

In Disco Man, my personal favorite song from the EP, Wolf has found new love in a suave man who has bewitched her. Her vocals ride along with a bouncing beat that feels at moments sweet and soft but quickly rips apart into belts that seem to express the wide range of emotions that accompany the excitement of new love. It immediately transports the listener to a sunny place where all is new and exciting.

Wolf explores a new relationship that hasn’t experienced any hardships yet, and it feels like a moment of reflecting on the transcendent and powerful sensations that come along with that. Using the imagery of a disco, or discotheque, puts us onto a dance floor where music blares loudly and all that can be felt is the booming of the music’s vibrations. What comes naturally is to dance as all senses become washed over with sheer embodiment. When the song devolves into a repetition of “We’re on fire” along with her powerful voice sounding out — almost yelling — it becomes an embodiment of the feeling she is experiencing which seems better expressed in imagery and music than it could with words.

Not a single song from this EP is disappointing. Wolf’s observational tone when discussing love provides a uniqueness of lyrical composition that fits in perfectly with her quirky and happy-go-lucky reminiscings on an old love. At the same time, she stresses living in the moment. Most importantly, she can sing. Wolf’s voice at times expressing more than her lyrics are capable of. The overall sound of this EP nods to the past but presents something new, and Wolf has an earnestness that is infectious. Cure your winter blues and turn on this EP. Get out of this world for a minute.