Remi Wolf's 'Juno' Delivers Summery Pop Worthy of Anthony Kiedis

BY Alex HudsonPublished Oct 19, 2021

"I fit my family dynamics / Like a Red Hot Chili Pepper," Remi Wolf sings on "Anthony Kiedis," a giddy pop anthem named after the RHCP frontman. And even though the song sounds nothing like its namesake, Wolf actually does a pretty damn good job at embodying everything that's good about Red Hot Chili Peppers: Juno is funky, horny, funny and packed to the brim with summery hooks, all of which disguises an undercurrent of emotional pain fuelled by addiction. (Wolf spent time in rehab for alcohol in 2020.) She's even from California, just to really complete the picture.

Juno channels those familiar characteristics through an extremely modern sound that blends the futuristic energy of hyperpop with a grab bag of soul and hip-hop. "Quiet on Set" has a clavinet riff that recalls classic funk, chanted hooks à la the Go! Team, and bawdy raps that reference ass-eating, "2 Girls 1 Cup" (don't Google it) and an "orgy at Five Guys with five guys." Wolf channels SZA's husky-voiced soul on "Volkiano," there's a splash of doo-wop and girl group harmony on "Anthony Kiedis," and "Buzz Me In" juxtaposes a story of romantic uncertainty against a bubblegum chorus that sounds like pure joy.

Wolf and producer Jared Solomon (a.k.a. Solomonophonic) pack every song with laugh-out-loud jokes and confetti blasts of brightly coloured synth-funk, but for all the modern bedroom pop accoutrements, Juno's greatest strengths are the raw materials of melody and lyrics. This is particularly apparent on closer "Street You Live On," which places a chorus of pitch-raised harmonies atop a mid-tempo hip-hop beat. Wolf sings of a still-raw breakup, tempering her heartbreak with a beautiful hook as she admits, "I avoid the street that you live on / You're a magnet pulling my feet and my head off / And I scramble my brain, wasting away / Looking for ways that I can avoid you / To pull the weeds, suck the venom." It's gorgeous breakup anthem, perfectly embodying the way Juno manages to be both timely and timeless.
(Island Records)

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