The duo lives up to the hype

wet leg

wet leg
photo: Holly Fernando

wet leg appeared seemingly out of nowhere last year and signed to major label Domino Omead Mobarak on guitar and synthesizers in June 2021) – releasing their first single “Chaise Longue”, the song became a viral sensation.

Despite swirling rumours, Wet Leg is not an industrial plant. Teasdale and Chambers don’t have famous parents either; The duo attracted attention this was mostly through word of mouth (being signed to Domino sure helped too). The band released six singles prior to the album’s release: “Chaise Longue”, “Angelica”, “Wet Dream”, “Too Late Now”, “Oh No” and “Ur Mum”. All were fantastic in their own way, but the songs saved for the record contain some of Wet Leg’s best work to date. This is the rare long-awaited debut album that lives up to the hype.

The album opens with “Being In Love,” a pounding track with honeyed vocals in which Teasdale compares her all-consuming angst to the feeling of falling in love with someone: “I’ve lost my appetite / I can’t sleep at night / I can I can’t focus / I don’t feel too good / The world is falling apart / And I’m kinda struggling / But I kinda like it because it feels like being in love.

Teasdale is a gifted songwriter who can seamlessly capture emotions that are difficult to put into words. There’s “I Don’t Wanna Go Out,” which perfectly captures that point in your late twenties when you’re too young to give up on your ambitions but still feel exhausted and discouraged. “It used to be so fun, now it all feels so silly / I wish I could take care of it / And now I’m almost 28 / I’m still coming off my stupid face / A fucking nightmare / I know I am should take care of it / right now I’m wearing it doesn’t matter,” sings Teasdale. While the lyrics are dejected, the music creates a stunningly beautiful contrast, with synths and backing vocals adding an ethereal touch to the track; it sounds like angels welcoming you to heaven’s pearly gates.

“Loving You” is another Teasdale-penned track — a celebratory, synth-guitar-driven number about the disappointment of falling out with someone who’s playing with their feelings — even though they have a new partner. Teasdale’s vocals remain sweet as she puts it all bluntly: “I don’t want to have to stay friends / I don’t want to have to pretend / I don’t want to meet your girlfriend / I hope you choke on your girlfriend / If she calls 999 / have they cut your line.”

The theme continues with the aptly titled “Piece Of Shit,” a song that’s also stripped down compared to the gushing singles, with Teasdale choosing to be the bigger person and not have to deal with someone who she abuses: “Do you want me to cry? In order. Like I could die In order. You’re a good boy. In order. Okay, whatever helps you sleep at night,” she sings. Wet Leg’s snarkiest lyrics come in their softest songs; It’s a strong contrast that makes them even more attention-grabbing.

But even when Teasdale spells out her feelings, she doesn’t detract from the lyrics of the band’s sense of humor. In “Ur Mom,” a lively pop song, she calls a former lover and begs her to forget her. There’s no need to be eloquent: “Yeah, why don’t you suck my cock,” she counters, pointing out why she can’t stay in the dynamic any longer. And that humorous frustration reaches a breaking point when Teasdale announces that she’s practiced her “loudest scream,” counting to three before letting out a scream.

There’s a big difference between Teasdale’s and Chambers’ approach to songwriting. While Teasdale seems to enjoy taking a more literal approach, he writes emotionally charged lyrics that feel like overhearing an intimate conversation with a friend — or, in some cases, the kind of risqué lyrics that make you want her Throwing the phone right across the room after sending it—Chambers keeps their songwriting more abstract and absurd.

The only song Chambers wrote for this album without Teasdale’s co-credit is “Convincing” (“It’s Not Fun” was also written by Chambers alone but only appears on the deluxe edition). On this track, Chambers’ voice takes on a sultry coo reminiscent of Lana Del Rey. “Do you think the other girls would mind if I went swimming at night / On the beach / Wet feet / Bioluminescent plankton shit,” she muses. Chambers’ voice is just as beautiful as Teasdale’s and leaves you wanting more.

The true magic of the record comes in the moments when Chambers and Teasdale share songwriting duties, as they both share a dirty, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. Take lead single “Chaise Longue”: The mean girls Reference books not least thanks to Teasdale’s droll performance. With a monotony that rivals Margot Tenenbaum, Teasdale sounds cool as she sings some of the dumbest lyrics imaginable, including the opening lines “Mommy, Daddy, look at me / I goes to school and I got a degree / All my friends call it “the big D’ / I went to school and got the big D.”

One of the biggest highlights is the amusingly perverse “Wet Dream”. It’s clear that Wet Leg doesn’t like to take itself seriously, and with this ridiculously catchy tune, Teasdale and Chambers get creative with their sordid imagery: “You climb on the hood and lick the windshield / I’ve never seen anything so obscene.” Wet Leg plays a lot with infusing different genres into their guitar-based music, and in the case of “Wet Dream,” the band creates a disco-tinged song. Rhythm guitar shines best when paired with percussion as Teasdale repeats the evocative line “It’s enough, it’s enough, it’s enough, it’s enough (to make a girl blush)”; it is contagious and lively.

Then there’s “Angelica,” an all-too-relatable song with shimmering guitar riffs about the awkwardness of partying while experiencing social anxiety. The lyrics, “I don’t know what I’m even doing here / I was told there would be free beer / I don’t want to follow you on grammar / I don’t want to listen to your band” nails what it’s like to socialize , with which one has nothing to do; what looks glamorous from a distance often feels uncomfortable from the inside.

Even with the tracks, which are much more reserved compared to the other tracks, there is no boredom wet leg. With the successful pairing of two incredible guitarists and excellent songwriting, this is a nearly flawless introduction. The record holds such a compelling collection of songs that it’s already exciting to await what Wet Leg will come up with next.

https://www.avclub.com/wet-leg-self-titled-review-1848755173 The duo lives up to the hype

Andrew Schnitker

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