Remi Wolf singles ‘Guerrilla,’ ‘Sexy Villain’ amplify artist’s energetic sound

Photo of a Remi Wolf album cover
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After soundtracking the summer with a remix of “Photo ID” featuring Dominic Fike that went viral on TikTok, Remi Wolf has returned to rule fall with the release of two singles “Guerrilla” and “Sexy Villain.”

Eight years after her brief stint on “American Idol,” Remi Wolf has since soared to the top of the indie pop scene with vibrant visuals and a distinct sound. Her fans, or “remjobs” as she’s called them, have gravitated toward her music as it blends together powerful vocals and influences from R&B, funk and indie pop among other genres. Following the momentum of her, We Love Dogs! remix album released earlier this year, which saw collaboration with the likes of Beck and Little Dragon, the 25-year-old originally from Palo Alto is set to release her highly anticipated debut album Juno Oct. 15. 

Wolf dropped “Guerrilla / Sexy Villain,” a pair of singles from this upcoming album Sept. 8, following the August release of the songs “Quiet on Set” and “Grumpy Old Man.” The September singles successfully showcase the artist’s whimsical lyricism and energetic, distinctly Los Angeles sound. Both tracks were released with accompanying music videos that bring audiences into a psychedelic world of color — one with flying elevators and giant dancing wigs, further establishing Wolf’s funky Generation Z aesthetic. 

“Guerrilla” starts strong with vibrant synth and whimsical sound effects. Playful lyrics such as, “Damn that guy he keeping me guessin’/ Bolo tie wise he making impressions/ Look like my exes,” are paired with bright and infectious instrumentals. The strength of the song lies in its dynamism, as Wolf navigates sections of almost acapella immediately into an explosion of sound with remarkable ease. 

At one point during “Guerrilla,” the track pulls back into mock elevator music, which mirrors a playful moment in the music video where she’s stuck in a colorful flying elevator. As sirens blare, the song seems to embrace chaos, but it still remains cohesive, leaning into the weirdness inherent to Wolf’s artistic sensibility. She expertly walks the fine line of doing the most in her music while never letting it become too chaotic, and “Guerrilla” encapsulates this balance. 

“Sexy Villain,” in contrast, balances the high energy of “Guerrilla” with a more laid-back, mellow track. With a prominent bass line, “Sexy Villain” rests at a steady, irresistible groove. Wolf sings about being bad — in a good way — with her willing partner and relishes a tasteful amount of toxicity. Within the lyrics, Wolf plays with and subverts recognizable superhero gimmicks, referencing the women in refrigerators comic book trope (“He’s a keeper/ Big believer/ Long as he don’t check the freezer”) and declaring herself “Aqua Girl with the rising Leo.” Wolf’s strong voice duels with a funky guitar solo, creating an incredibly catchy track.

With lyrics that are sometimes nonsensical, “Guerrilla” and “Sexy Villain” prioritize fun and levity over deep, profound storytelling. Both songs invite listeners to the expansive visual and sonic universe created by Remi Wolf — one with neon colors, high saturation and addictive songs that don’t shy away from oddity. “Guerrilla” and “Sexy Villain” demonstrate how Wolf’s music lives in a world of its own, signifying promising releases from an artist with an album on the horizon.

Contact Sarena Kuhn at [email protected].