That's MisterWives, to You
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because MisterWives’ genre-bending blend of folk meets pop meets disco will make you hit “play” over and over and over again.
By Melissa Pandika
As a band, you either Make It – cash, fun and fame – or you don’t.
But when you do, you’ll know — because then the pieces fit just right, and things move fast. Dizzyingly fast.
Just ask NYC indie-pop-soul trio MisterWives, who recently dropped their first EP, signed with Island Def Jam, kicked off an East Coast tour, and started recording their debut album — just a year after they began performing together.
“We all met pretty randomly,” said Mandy Lee, MisterWives’ bubbly frontwoman. Lee was belting ’80s covers for a friend’s 18th birthday party when she ran into bassist Will Hehir. After the two started jamming, Lee invited drummer Etienne Bowler, who worked at a vegan restaurant a block from the vegan joint where she worked, to join in.
“It took one rehearsal, and we all became really good friends,” said Lee, who had hopped from band to band before finally settling with MisterWives. “It was like hitting the jackpot.” The bandmates recorded a few songs in their Bronx apartment in PJs and uploaded them to SoundCloud, which earned them thousands of plays and loads of indie music blog love. Their first show in Manhattan caught the eye of a Photo Finish Records agent — and the rest is a pretty significant step toward all of that cash, fun and fame.
And that sense of serendipity echoes through their tracks, whose blend of folk, soul and disco somehow sounds right, without even trying. Think The Lumineers’ stomp-clap cadence meets Walk the Moon’s sparkling synth-pop hooks, thrown in with a dash of Lee’s sassy Aretha Franklin vocals.
The result? A fun, infectious sound that has MTV ready to crown MisterWives The Next Golden Children of Pop. Most of the tracks on their Reflections EP will make you want to shimmy and sing into your hairbrush – like the title track and the band’s most recent single, a dance-y anthem about getting over unrequited love (which, by the way, was featured as an iTunes Single of the Week and spent three weeks on Spotify’s Most Viral Tracks chart). Meanwhile, “Coffins,” a haunting ballad mourning the loss of a friendship, reveals the band’s somber side.
Despite their whirlwind success, MisterWives doesn’t take themselves too seriously, from Lee’s wide-eyed giddiness to their stories about Utah residents taking offense at their band name — inspired by Sister Wives, a reality show that documents the life of a polygamist family in Lehi, Utah. “We reversed the genders, so it’s like I married all the guys,” Lee explained.
Likewise, their songs “are nothing deliberate,” said Lee, who studied opera at a performing arts school in Manhattan and pens all the band’s tracks – often in her basement at 4:00 a.m. (Did we mention she’s only 21?) “I can’t force myself to write a song,” she said. “If I say ’hey, I want to write a song,’ nothing happens. Ever. It has to be in the moment.”
Next up, MisterWives is Austin-bound for their first SXSW in March, followed by a spring tour with The Mowgli’s, on top of recording a debut album, which is scheduled to drop at the end of this year. “It’s been a wild experience,” Lee said. “We’re still pinching ourselves. We hope it just continues to develop more and more.” So do we.
- Melissa PandikaContact Melissa Pandika