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Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album makes a big splash in the indie scene

Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album makes a big splash in the indie scene

Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album makes a big splash in the indie scene
April 28
12:00 2022

Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album challenges the current norms of female-led indie rock, forgoing somber vulnerability with whimsical candor to create an original and addicting sound.

Gaining international acclaim with its June 2021 debut single “Chaise Lounge,” over the next few months the band proved the catchy, innuendo-laced track was only the beginning. With each new single released, Wet Leg set the stage for an album that captures the current human condition — equally perfect to dance to or scream alongside with.

Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers are a duo from the Isle of Wight and have become the first act from their island to score No.1 on the UK Official Album Chart. Breaking barriers seems to come naturally to Wet Leg, who turn Mean Girls quotes, quasi-yodeling and Teasdale’s “longest and loudest scream” into an album that becomes more endearing with each listen.

The instrumentals — threaded with electric riffs and steady bass — are reminiscent of the post-punk female rockers of the early aughts, calling back to the Ting Tings, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Tegan and Sara. Those who listened to these groups in middle school, writing the lyrics in gel pen, will feel like they are coming home with “Wet Leg” while enjoying updated expressions of the societal dissatisfaction of millennials and Gen-Z.  

The album’s lyrics pair humor with razor sharp wit to explore becoming disenchanted with partying in one’s mid-20s, existential crises brought on by technology and a seemingly never-ending parade of scumbag boyfriends. “Wet Leg” describes a world plagued by instant gratification and emotional immaturity, responding with quirky beats to combat our “pretty harrowing” world. 

Even the romantic tracks on the album, “Being in Love” and “Supermarket,” put a cheeky spin on the concept of a sappy song. The former bluntly likens falling in love to being “punched in the guts” on some “f—ked up trip” that is nevertheless enjoyable, while the latter offers an oddly touching act of service: “I want to take you to the supermarket / I wanna buy you all the shit that you need.”

Where “Wet Leg” truly shines, however, are the post-breakup ballads and the anti-love songs. “Loving You” uses beautiful, lilting vocals to tell a former lover they “hope you’re choking on your girlfriend” and then get hung up on by emergency services. “Ur Mum” minces no words by ordering an ex, “I don’t want you to want me / I need you to forget me” after suggesting they are a disappointment to their mother.  

A specific punching bag of the band are the soft indie boys who endlessly sing of manic pixie dream girls. Listeners tired of hearing these shallow idealizations can find solace in the lines of “Wet Dream” asking, “What makes you think you’re good enough to think about me / When you’re touching yourself.” Useful retorts can also be found in “Angelica,” frankly stating, “I don’t wanna follow you on the ‘gram / I don’t wanna listen to your band.”

While Wet Leg differentiates itself from the sounds of indie queens like Phoebe Bridgers and Mitski, “Piece of Shit” is still a fitting addition to a sad girl playlist with its mellow riffs and melancholic lyrics detailing a hardened outlook on a toxic relationship. Additionally, almost anyone can relate to “Oh No,” which uses a sickly sweet upbeat sound to detail the brain rot of endlessly scrolling on one’s phone out of loneliness.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of “Wet Leg” is its closing song “Too Late Now.” Perfectly crafted for the credits in a coming-of-age movie, the track is a raw and melodic confession of feeling lost and unsure. Straightforward in its self-doubt, it admits, “I’m not sure if this is a song / I don’t even know what I’m saying.” As it progresses, the song becomes faster and more grungier, with the frustrated yells of a backup vocalist tearing through the droning guitar. 

Full of authentic emotion and bitingly unapologetic, “Wet Leg” establishes itself as one of the strongest debut albums of the modern indie scene. Each track stands out by itself while forming a cohesive interpretation of our absurd lives. The album is best enjoyed while listeners take a bubble bath, sending them on a higher path. 

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Ileana Garnand

Ileana Garnand

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