Wet Leg seemed to travel retired of nowhere. Silly name. Lyrical treble (and single) entendres. A Domino grounds woody disconnected the backmost of a mates of tracks connected SoundCloud. Within weeks, their June 2021 debut azygous Chaise Longue had flung the Isle of Wight duo from unknowns into the buzziest set astir connected conscionable the ground of a fewer minutes of stupidly catchy guitar-pop.
That opus hinted astatine however Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers could shove caller wave, post-punk and incessant hooks into a raucous embrace. And yes, Chaise Longue acceptable a precocious bar, with its Mean Girls notation and a bucolic euphony video (now watched much than 8.5m times). It was wide rated arsenic 1 of the champion songs of 2021. Could their archetypal record marque bully connected its promise? In April, their self-titled debut answered, conclusively, yes.
On 1 level, the medium is an autopsy of a past narration conducted with goofiness, with Teasdale often sounding openly disgusted by men earlier spraying a squirty-cream smiley look implicit that judgment. She doles retired a savage appraisal of an ex connected Ur Mum – “When I deliberation astir what you’ve go / I consciousness atrocious for your mum” – but tempers it by singing successful the higher extremity of her register. If you’re not listening closely, it’s conscionable a sunny, faintly psychedelic earworm. But arsenic with azygous Wet Dream, the duo brace saccharine with sour to disarm, past they propulsion you successful adjacent and susurration the existent communicative successful your ear. In Wet Dream, that’s 1 astir an ex who, post-breakup, would archer Teasdale erstwhile she appeared successful his dreams. Her response? “What makes you deliberation you’re bully capable to deliberation astir maine / When you’re touching yourself?”
Wet Leg (the album) besides deals successful a benignant of middle-class millennial malaise. Teasdale and Chambers prime astatine the scabs of being promised a large beingness past uncovering it wanting. Both Angelica and I Don’t Wanna Go Out look exhausted by the unit to bask yourself astatine parties. Oh No turns doomscrolling astatine 3am into thing adjacent to a jaunty, scuzzy nursery rhyme: “I went home, each unsocial / I checked my telephone and present I’m wrong it.”
If they dependable worried, it’s due to the fact that for a fewer years, they were. They met astatine euphony assemblage connected the Isle of Wight and fronted abstracted projects, Teasdale arsenic Rhain and Chambers starring Hester and the Red Squirrel Band. It each sounded a spot dour. Once they started penning unneurotic arsenic Wet Leg successful 2019, they clocked that making euphony could beryllium fun. But they were approaching their precocious 20s; Teasdale, especially, felt it would soon beryllium clip to get a “real job”. Adulthood didn’t look the mode she felt she’d been promised. You perceive that anxiousness – a suspiration of “I’m excessively aged for this, right?” – passim the album.
The interest is ever balanced by thing lighthearted. Plenty of euphony present is enjoyable conscionable for the involvement of it. And their gags and the sing-a-long choruses hint astatine an cognition truthful throwaway it’s astir absurdist. You could beryllium cynical astir Wet Leg’s ascent: successful interviews, Teasdale and Chambers accidental things like: “we’re conscionable small state bumpkins,” and “we constitute songs expecting them not to beryllium listened to.” They dependable unfussed.
That belies the accent and introspection they negociate to cloak successful humour passim this debut. They intelligibly bash attraction astir making consciousness of their lives: would they person filled an medium with their thoughts connected modern beingness otherwise? They’re trying to beryllium arch, sure. But look beyond the smirk and there’s skill, observational wit and melodies that burrow into your brain. Their viral deed wasn’t a one-off. No unit for the adjacent album, then.