This year, Remi Wolf released her debut studio album, Juno. Juno is a beautifully told pop story with an overwhelming amount of good tracks. Adlan Jackson of Pitchfork described Wolf’s sound as “zany technicolor”, which is the perfect word for it. Her production is colorful and funky, pulling elements from traditional funk, rock, pop, and hip hop. She twists the idea of bedroom pop into her own genre, and she does it right. She first gained popularity after her song “Photo ID” went viral on TikTok, but she’s only grown from there.
The first track and lead single, “Liquor Store”, is upbeat and danceable, which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Although the song sounds like a pointless, borderline-hyperpop, dance song, its lyrics are rooted deeply in Wolf’s personal life. “Liquor Store” is written about her former substance abuse issues. She wrote on Genius, “I wrote this song four months after getting sober. [It’s] about my journey with alcoholism and always wanting to keep drinking and the parallels between insecurities in relationships and addiction.”
“Quiet on Set” is by far one of the best songs on the album. Its instrumental is playful and funky, and Wolf’s lyricism shines through. It’s also deeply rooted in the culture of Los Angeles, where she lives and works. Her wordplay throughout the song is well-done and includes references to popular culture in multiple places, which is common throughout the album. Anthony Keidis, Robert DeNiro, Human Centipede, and Five Guys are just a few of the references that she makes throughout Juno.
Wolf has cited Anthony Keidis as one of her major inspirations, even going so far as to name a song after him. “Anthony Keidis” highlights the lyrical aspects that Wolf has borrowed from Keidis, with many of the lyrics being freely associated yet still having meaning to her. “I just follow these little wormholes in my head,” she told Eric Ducker of The New York Times. “I just like to go down whatever imagery I think is describing how I’m feeling.”
“Front Tooth” has faced criticism for its use of chords in the chorus, but in reality, the “squeakiness” is what Wolf was likely going for. It’s a part of her sound — she aims to be untraditional, and that’s shown perfectly in this song.
Overall, Juno is about growth. She told Ducker that after she got sober, she changed her life views. “I didn’t even know what growing as a human was. I knew obviously people were like, I’m growing, blah blah blah. Now I’m like, life is about growth. Which never occurred to me. It’s so insane.” And it’s clearly reflected on the album, with themes of adolescence, sexuality, and heartbreak flowing through each and every song.
Along with those themes, one more thing is seen all the way through the album: Wolf’s energy. She has a fun, creative energy that radiates through her songs, album covers, and visuals that no other artist has. She has a passion, and it’s shown in Juno.