Dream Nails (photo by Derek Bremner)
London punk witches Dream Nails have released a new song and accompanying video called “Take Up Space.” It is available in the US and Canada on Dine Alone Records and Alcopop! Records in the UK, a label who are fast becoming one of my favorites. They have an impressive roster, including The Spook School, Peaness, and Bo Ningen.
Dream Nails describe themselves as a “punk force to be reckoned with” and are known for their strident lyrics and dedication to creating safer spaces for women and non-binary people at their shows. They also know how to bring the party and I can’t recall a show so empowering! We (women and non-binary people) are invited to the front to dance, and men are asked to step to the back, so we can actually take up space.
“Take Up Space” cover art by Genie Espinosa
“Take Up Space” is the first release with their new singer Leah Kirby, who joined the band earlier in 2021. What I love about this video and the accompanying single is that it brings the party to you. It brings the summer vibes of a chorus that will give you an earworm for the rest of August, and long beyond. Don’t be fooled by the power poppy punk sounds; their lyrics always pack a hefty punch, and this one is no different. They can bring the party and hit you with spot on political lyrics that will leave you questioning.
“Saving myself from the creeps today” is one hell of a line, but I think my favorite would have to be “Then I’d meet my date, walk home late/ Not hold my keys like wolverine.” That’s the whole frightening point, succinctly wrapped in a catchy little verse washed down with some summery sixties harmonies. This song is a direct challenge to the yawnsome old anti feminist rhetoric that haunts us, even in the year 2021. Particularly after the heinous murder of Sarah Everard, who sadly is one of the more recent women in a very long line to be harmed or killed during the simple act of walking home, and the attention that came from it, songs like this are more necessary than ever to say we ARE going to take up space. For the punk context, that also means we don’t belong at the back of the gig, EVER.
The song was also accompanied by a brand new music video. Created by Jasmine Doyle-Pitt, Marieke Macklon, and Amin Musa with creative production and editing by the band’s guitarist Anya Pearson, the video binds their dedication to the DIY ethos. It matches the whole sixties energy the song has about it; the colors and the font are peak Scooby-Do! and the fuzzy filters make the video warm and inviting. It feels like a public service announcement and should be mandatory watching for young people navigating different spaces today. Repeat after me…TAKE UP SPACE!
This is what Leah had to say about the song: “This is a bop which acknowledges the injustice with cis male-dominated spaces. It’s an anthem for those who are negatively impacted by patriarchal oppression. It’s a call for us to reclaim our bodies and take ownership of ourselves. We want to live without fear, we want to live freely, we want to take up space!” Leah really shares the values of what the Dream Nails community is and they have fit in really well; I can’t wait to see them perform with the band for the first time soon.
Download the song, check out the video- then if you’re after more, some of my favorite tracks are “Lovefuck,” “Vagina Police,” and “Kiss My Fist”
“Take Up Space” music video