New York City-based Addie Warncke began Computerwife in 2018 at the beginning of her college career, using SoundCloud as a diary to chronicle her emotions. When the pandemic hit, Warncke released the five songs she was proudest of as her self-titled debut EP, and the strength of those tracks led to a signing with Danger Collective Records. Now, she’s poised to release her debut self-titled full-length: a raw and intimate portrait of her experiences processing the small but poignant moments that shape a life. Computerwife’s sound is captivating and nuanced, pushing the boundaries between analog and digital. “The main theme that ties this album together is an interest in the deep web and an attempt to combine existing media to make something new,” she explains. With her seamless blend of shoegaze, emo, and lo-fi noise pop, Computerwife speaks directly to the disquiet experienced by every 21st century digital girl with a tenuous grip on life and identity.
Without any prior production knowledge or a band to work with, expanding her songs beyond the writing stage was a challenge Warncke sought to overcome. A Song Exploder episode about Grimes inspired her to download a free trial of Ableton so she could flesh out tracks and learn more about electronic production. On her dorm room bed, she began to record with her dad’s guitar and bass, a Fender deluxe amp, and a focusrite to Ableton. Her first EP and forthcoming debut LP are pulled from these 3 years of exploring music production on her computer, made with limited, portable equipment. Computerwife ultimately reflects Warncke’s very core; it was inspired by internet rabbit holes, books, films, albums, and bands that have shaped her: from Coney Island to My Bloody Valentine, Alex G, The Flaming Lips and Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Lyrically, Computerwife grapples with the psychological state Warncke was in when she, in her own words, “went crazy, deleted all my music, and ran back home.” Created out of rediscovered mp3 files, scraps of almost-forgotten melodies and re-recorded instrumentals, the album is a hard-hitting digital collage that mirrors her disparate influences and a tangle of raw emotions.
Lead single “Lexapro” teeters between pop and shoegaze and finds Warncke drawing inspiration from Sonic Youth as she grapples with feelings of failure and stasis. Driving standout “I Get Better Everyday,” influenced by Alex G’s production, sees her turn a corner: “When I made it, I thought I was gaining control of my life and building self-confidence. I wanted to write about a friend I had grown up with who kept telling me she hated how I changed, because to me I felt like I was finally doing what I wanted to do instead of living for other people,” Warncke explains. “This song is one of the first songs that taught me how to write lyrics. I was reading Annihilation (by Jeff VanderMeer) and wrote down interesting words and then found ways to use those words to express my own thoughts.” The breezy and heavenly highlight “Vacation” came about after Warncke read How to Do Nothing (by Jenny Odell) and visited Coney Island for the first time: “I thought the ecosystem was really beautiful and people seemed really relaxed together. I really needed that kind of environment to clear my head for a while and it was very inspiring.” On the tense and explosive “You Make It Look So Easy,” Warncke explores the relatable experience of admiring someone so much that your fondness turns to jealousy. “Texas Chainsaw Dilemma” uses Sally’s screams from the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre in place of spoken vocal samples over a pulsing and shimmering electronic beat.
While the first few sets Warncke played as Computerwife consisted of her alone on stage with her laptop, sampler, and bass, she’s since expanded her live show into a full band for a bigger and heavier sound, including drummer John Supnik and guitarist Dalton Salisbury. After polishing their performance and playing several hometown shows around New York City, the band opened for the Southeastern tour leg of British lo-fi legends Panchiko and have also played shows supporting Been Stellar, Hello Mary, and They Are Gutting a Body of Water, among others.
Computerwife is dialectical music at its finest, managing to be simultaneously painful and celebratory, noisy and dancey, detached and heartfelt. “This album is alot about finding my values, figuring out what I want my life to be like, and committing to it” says Warncke.