Born in New Jersey, longtime Salfordian Robin Koob recently released an EP titled WIFE under her stage name Runremedy.

When asked about the EP, Robin explained that it was “about the struggles of titles and roles we’re assigned at different stages of our lives and the sense of entrapment we may feel when labeled with them”.

The album deconstructs labels such as “WOMAN”, “WIFE” AND “SISTER” as Robin attempts to find peace with each of them.

She uses her classical training to create gripping soundscapes; utilising violins, guitars, pianos, and many more instruments that create an often somber and forlorn atmosphere. Each song covers a topic that is important to Runremedy, from the harmful nature of the beauty industry to the highs and lows of married life.

The instruments used are mostly acoustic, which gives the EP an intimate and personal touch, complementing the complex subject matter of the songs.

WIFE is not afraid to experiment with the unconventional to get its points across, the song “WOMAN – BELLADONNA” has an interlude consisting of spoken samples of cosmetic warning labels and damaging beauty practices.

The words eventually drown out the instruments as the noise crescendos into the final seconds of the song. WIFE is an EP that settles its focus on narrative rather than impressive musicianship, not to imply that the EP is lacking in the latter category.

Building on this fact, Robin made it clear that “BELLADONNA is the only song that very intentionally carries a kind of message for it’s audience within it.”

“SISTER – JENNY” is a perfect example of Runremedy’s vocal talent. The vocal melody is anything but simple, not following any particular pattern.

The instruments and vocals work in harmony, not overpowering or undermining each other, intertwining to the benefit of the songs across the whole of the EP.

The track that deviates most from WIFE’s formula of soundscapes made by a myriad of instruments is the title track, “WIFE – FOR STEPHEN IN THE GARDEN”. The song only consists of Runremedy’s voice and her guitar.

Even with these limited tools she is able to reflect on her relationship with her husband, and how through the highs and the lows she still loves him. The track is one of the strongest on the album despite it being the most simple compositionally, and Runremedy’s lyrical strengths are at their most impactful here.

Overall, WIFE is a journey that takes the listener through the trials and tribulations of Robin’s life. The instrumentals are impactful and work in tandem with vocal melodies and heartfelt lyrics to paint a picture before the listener of the topics at hand. Whether it’s observing the positive or negative aspects of life, WIFE is able to entertain and impact the listener at every turn, it’s more than worth the roughly 30 minutes to experience.

You can listen to WIFE on Spotify here.

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