Juno

Remi Wolf

Juno

Since appearing on American Idol in 2014 and realizing a life of conventionality was not for her, LA pop singer-songwriter Remi Wolf has graduated from USC Thornton School of Music, released a series of EPs (2019’s You’re a Dog!, 2020’s I’m Allergic to Dogs!, and 2021’s We Love Dogs!), scored a viral hit on TikTok (“Photo ID”), and signed a deal with Island Records. Juno—which, not surprisingly, is named after her dog—is her first full-length. “I raised him during the pandemic,” Wolf tells Apple Music of the album’s namesake. “He was with me for the writing of every song. He was my partner.” Juno mixes chaotic funk, maximalist melodies, psychedelic synths, and absurdist lyrics for an album that’s as ebullient as that new pup. But making it was a different story. “There was this week where I wrote ‘Liquor Store,’ ‘Anthony Kiedis,’ ‘wyd,’ and ‘Grumpy Old Man,’” she says. “I wrote all of those in three days. I was bursting at the seams. Mental-health-wise, it was one of the worst [states] I'd ever been [in]. I was so completely and utterly miserable, and then we made some of my favorite songs on the album,” she says of her work with coproducer Jared Solomon. Here she goes deeper into how they all came together.
“Liquor Store” “I wrote this song about having gotten recently sober, this big fear of abandonment that I have, and this codependency issue that I've been dealing with for a long time. It’s one of my most vulnerable songs on the record. It was very cleansing for me. I said exactly what I was feeling. In my writing, I tend to do a lot of abstraction and surrealist imagery, just a lot of crazy shit. But that song is 'This is how it feels to be in my head right now.' I also wrote that song really, really fast. We probably finished it in four hours. I was crying. I was in and out of absolute breakdown, sobbing tears the entire time we were writing that song. The sacrifices we make out here.”
“Anthony Kiedis” “I love the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Anthony Kiedis doesn't have that much to do with the song other than I was reading his memoir at the time, and he talked a lot about his relationship with his dad. I was inspired by that. The song is really about everything that I was going through in COVID and the way I was viewing myself at the time.”
“wyd” “This is my funk song. This is like if Carlos Santana liked playing funk. But this song was also written in that big week of depression. I love my team, but at the time I was in such a tough spot and people were constantly wanting me to work. I was like, 'Hey, can you leave me alone?' So the line 'Little bitches telling me what to do' were my team, but that was just a moment in time. I was angry. Nobody tells me really what to do creatively, thank god. I have a lot of independence on that level.”
“Guerrilla” “It is such an anxious-horny anthem. I started writing that in the beginning of the pandemic. We didn't really know what COVID was, so I was still going to hang out with some people, but it was a very anxious time in my life. But I was still horny. I named it 'Guerrilla' because when I would go to a party, it felt like guerrilla warfare. My own brain was attacking itself. I can be way too perceptive and care about other people's energy and let that affect me, and that just causes this crazy anxiety.”
“Quiet on Set” “I made that song with my friend Jared [Solomon] and my friend Elie [Jay Rizk]. It was the first session that we had together with Elie. It was one of my most fun times I've ever had making music. The Chuck E. Cheese line came out of Elie being like, 'Guys, let's get some lunch.' He was like, 'Oh my god, should we Postmates Chuck E. Cheese?' I was like, 'Okay, that's going in the song right now.'”
“Volkiano” “Jared had a session with this producer, Y2K [Ari David Starace]. He was like, 'Remi, we don't have anybody to write a song for right now. Would you want to come through?' They had these chords down, and as soon as I heard the chords, I was like, 'I can write something to this.' We decided to keep the verses way more stripped down because I am speaking so fast and I want you to hear those words. It's definitely more of a dark pop sound. I'm super down for the variance. I want every song to be its own statement.”
“Front Tooth” “I wrote this song with Jared and Kenny Beats at his studio in the Valley. Kenny played all the drums on the songs, and he put them through this crazy analog gear to make them sound so huge. I wrote this song about how my career was going super well, the momentum was moving, but I felt like shit. It didn't feel how I wanted it to feel, and it didn't feel how everybody was telling me it should feel.”
“Grumpy Old Man” “I feel like an old man, old woman, really weird person a lot of the time. I wrote this song about feeling like I was so unpleasant to be around. I was going through such a hard time, and that's such a thing that people with anxiety and depression often feel. They just want to isolate and not be around people because they feel like they're not very fun. I was in that state: 'Oh, I fucking suck.' It's pretty much a song about me hating myself, but we put it in this beautiful little danceable package.”
“Buttermilk” “I wrote the song about a tumultuous relationship. Buttermilk is when you whip up cream, and you whip it to the point where it's butter, and the fat separates from the liquid. It happens very quickly. You'll have a big lump of butter in the bowl, but then you'll have all this buttermilk around it. I'm referring to my relationship, where one minute we're okay, but then the next minute we're fighting so much, like the process of making butter. It's about this relationship that is sometimes absolutely amusing and then sometimes it's just toxic and sour.”
“Sally” “I actually wrote ‘Sally’ before any song on my second EP. I initially wrote it on acoustic guitar with my friend Julian McClanahan, who I went to college with. He is a great songwriter. We went to San Diego on this party/writing trip and did it there. Jared sometimes likes to name our project files weird things. So for a long time, it was just 'Sally Four.' Once it came down to like putting it on the album, everybody was like, 'Okay, do you want to just call this “Sally”?'”
“Sexy Villain” “‘Sexy Villain’ I wrote with my power trio of my girly songwriters—Mary Weitz and Olivia Waithe. I wrote [2020’s] ‘Disco Man’ with them, and ‘Buzz Me In.’ I trust them a lot; they understand me, and they understand where I like going lyrically. At the time, I was watching and listening to a lot of true crime. I was in a relationship, and I was constantly feeling like the bad guy—even though I wasn't, but that's where my anxiety takes me a lot of the time. The sexy villain is my alter ego, in a sense—or it was that day.”
“Buzz Me In” “We had so much champagne during that session. I remember I played guitar and came up with those chords, but I honestly can't really tell you anything about that song. It’s the classic booty call: 'Let me in, like, will you make me cum?' But the mental state I was in when I was writing that song was just absolutely drunk.”
“Street You Live On” “I love this song. I made it with my friend Ethan Gruska, who I had just met for the first time the day that we started writing this. I had been a fan of him for six years. I think he's a genius. This is the closest I've gotten to a ballad thus far in my career, which is cool because I think that I need that. I believe it's one of my most well-written songs on the record. We kept joking that it sounds like the Bee Gees meets like Alex G. When you listen to this song, you feel really sad, but you also feel happy. There's like this undeniable nostalgia to it.”

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