by Lana Williams
Wet Leg Exceed Expectations with Their Self-Titled Debut
In the age of social media, and Tik Tok fads, it seems easier than ever for musicians to shoot to the top and get their work ‘out there’ – but no-one has seen overnight sensationalism quite like Isle of Wight alternative-rock duo, Wet Leg.
Known for their absurd and witty lyricism and infectious melodies, life-long pals, Rhian Teasdale, and Hester Chambers have been making waves since the release of their debut track, Chaise Lounge, in 2021.
Produced and recorded by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey, their self-titled debut LP explores the trials of tribulations of modern life. Working through social anxieties (Angelica), the pressures of adult life (Too Late Now), letting go of our inhibitions (Being In Love) and tongue-in-cheek school-reminiscings (Chaise Longue), the force-majeure shown by the duo means all bases are covered throughout this twelve track collection.
Opening with Being In Love, we are thrust directly into the heart of Wet Leg’s credo. Teeming with thumping percussion, jarring electronics and driving guitar strums, the just-over-two-minute track builds up high expectations. And the flawless transition into lead single, Chaise Longue, full of innuendos (‘I went to school and got the big D’), and pop culture references (‘Is your muffin buttered?’ from the classic, Mean Girls), makes it a refreshing dabble into multi-genre experimentation as the cut licks at pop-punk influences whilst veering into fuzzy indie-rock.
The last single to be released from the album, Angelica, sees the duo recount a tale of parties, regret, and absurdity. Penned as a homage to Rhian’s oldest friend, the protagonist navigates social interactions while warding away unwanted advances, ‘But I don’t wanna follow you on the ‘gram / I don’t wanna listen to your band.’ Reflecting on the cyclical nature of life, the duo announces, ‘And then it all / Comes to an end / We all go again’ in a pessimistic view despite the opposing nature of the main chorus.
I Don’t Wanna Go Out offers an introspective, if slightly nostalgic, view on the mindset of humanity during the pandemic. ‘I had to make my way out of the plans I am making’ reflects on the social anxieties felt as ‘normality’ resumed, and despite a need to re-enter the world, the reluctance felt at the hands of our own minds. While second single, Wet Dream, explores exactly what it says on the tin. Crass and full of on-the-nose innuendos, it is truly enough to ‘Make a girl blush’ on first listen. Pop-filled and edgy, the song is a break-up song at its heart, but is bouncy and buzzy enough to veer away from the pessimistic side and jibe fun at male fantasies.
Oh No explores the regrets and pressures of modern adult-life and the negative effects social media can have – ‘Checked my phone / oh no … I’m scrolling / I’m scrolling.’ The infectious earworm further accentuates Wet Leg’s knack at turning otherwise drab and bleak situations into fun-filled cuts.
Channelling the folk energies of groups such as Big Thief, Piece Of Shit offers a mellower view of the duo in a stripped-back and delicate turn of events. Penultimate song, Supermarket, moves into bedroom pop territory as Wet Leg reflect on the intimacies of relationships through mundane activities, such as visiting the supermarket. Before the record is rounding off with Too Late Now. The track perfectly encapsulates the band’s ‘sad music for party people, and party music for sad people,’ mantra. Exploring themes of acceptance through ever-witty couplets, ‘I don’t need no dating app / To tell me if I look like crap / To tell me if I’m thin or fat,’ the band promote self-acceptance and love in a final bid to stamp their mark onto the music world.
Wet Leg’s debut record is a standalone masterpiece that transcends categorisation with a hard-to-pin-down quality that sets the duo apart. The bottom line? Wet Leg truly are ones to watch.