Wetleg’s debut album will be the most anticipated this year. The self-titled LP by the Isle of Wight duo Rhian Teasdale (guitarist) and Hester Chambers (singer/guitarist) has been an instant hit. Every day seems to add to the momentum, whether through new singles or TV performances or rafts gigs sold out and upgraded venues. It’s like a turbo-speed rollercoaster powered with rocket fuel.
They aren’t going to stop this trajectory with their first album. It is a thrilling record that adds new attractions and revisits the songs that made them fall in love. Recorded in April 2021, before any other than their friends and label Domino Records [ Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand] even knew they existed. It’s unburdened only by the sudden success ‘Of Chaise Longue; it’s a pure representation of two musicians writing songs just for fun and accidentally creating indie’s latest instant classic album.
The pair’s debut single had a lot to do with its humor and silliness. The teetotal ‘Angelica portrays a party they don’t want to attend. They get stuck in a cycle of intoxication and discontent before finally letting go of their imaginations. “Angelica brought her ray gun to the party/ Angelica obliterated everyone,” Teasdale sings while Chambers creates “pew” sound effects. The previous singles, ‘Wet Dream’ (a le Tigre-like dancefloor hit) and “Oh No” (all stop-start guitars and polished stomp), take us into an ex’s post-breakup fantasies and a dopamine hit and crash of a 3 am doom scroll. Teasdale vividly and wryly recounts the story of the former.
When it’s not making funny things up, ‘Wet Leg” is trying to take stock of adult life when you aren’t quite where you want or feel like you should be. Sometimes they manifest as mellower and more melancholy moments. This is evident in ‘I Don’t Wanna Go Out,’ which features a sad riff that sounds like the one in David Bowie’s ‘The Man Who Slew The World. “Now that I’m nearly 28 / Still getting up from my stupid face/ Fucking nightmare,” Teasdale sighs, adding some dark optimism. She shrugs and says, “At least we’re all going to die.” Chambers leads the windswept, ethereal “Convincing” and finds her stuck in a rut, not ready for her to get out of it. “When it is blue / Do I feel it too?” she says before admitting, “When it is grey / Yes, I feel the same.”
Wet Leg also shares their views through songs like the expansive “Too Late Now.” After exchanging a spoken-word verse about “if that is the life I see myself living,” Teasdale says: “I just need to take a bubble bath to get me on a higher track.” “We’re going down, we’re holding hands / I fuck it up, I’m taking this down with me,” Teasdale sings lucidly, like a quarter-of-life crisis take on Louise.
They quickly became known for their sense of humor and each sad moment on their debut, and they quickly followed it up with sarcastic lyrics. Teasdale describes the pain of an ex-partner moving on in a gentle falsetto pop song ‘Loving You. “I don’t want to meet your girlfriend / Hope that you’re choking your girlfriend,” Teasdale sings before picturing a moment of revenge. “You claim you’re a genius, but I believe you are joking / You’re like a piece shit, and you either sink or float,” the folk-tinged “Piece Of Shit” opens with the demeaning “I look at what you have become / I feel sorry for my mum.
Teasdale and Chambers met while riding a Ferris wheel at an event. They decided to try music again and started Wet Leg. Their debut album is a joyous race around a fairground, with all the lows being batted away by wit and wisecracks, like a game of verbal whack a-mole. You feel a rush of joy and freedom that makes it easy to grab your partner in crime and set off on an adventure to find a place; as Angelica’s motto suggests, “good time all the time.” It seems like you will find it with Wet Leg playing as your soundtrack.
- Release Date: April 8.
- Record label: Domino Records