By Beau Hayhoe
You heard the song. Your mother probably heard the song. Anyone you know who is “extremely online” has certainly heard the song.
If you haven’t heard the song? Prepare to meet wet leg. The song, of course, is the band’s insanely fun and insanely clever “Chaise Longue” of the moment (seriously). With its scholarly references to mean girls (“Do you want us to assign someone to butter your muffin?”), energetic guitar and a really cool bassline, it’s no wonder many have dubbed the indie song “Chaise Longue” by the last summer.
The fervor surrounding the band – formed in 2019 on the Isle of Wight by university friends rhythm guitarist-vocalist Rhian Teasdale and singer-guitarist Hester Chambers – took off surprisingly quickly, rising from hitmaker BBC Radio 6 Music in the ears of Iggy Pop himselfwho called the song’s sharp drums.
The rising tide has finally reached shore, as this hit single is joined by a varied list of 11 additional songs on Wet Leg’s self-titled debut album, out today (April 8) on Domino Records. Every day, the band’s best-known track reaches ever-widening audiences — not bad for a late-night home demo recorded in a living room containing a real lounge chair.
So why Wet Leg, and why now?
Could it be the fact that the band’s name comes from a game they played, hitting random emojis on a keyboard? Is it the band’s effortless blend of tongue-in-cheek flair, suitably tinged with the millennial desperation of the online terminal, that strikes a chord?
Or is it an undercurrent of early nostalgia, as the band counts the White Stripes and early Kings of Leon among their influences?
Wet Leg was born out of a ‘pact’ the duo struck at festival shows as part of Teasdale’s previous solo project, RHIAN – that the band now exists as it is is a bit of luck that doesn’t. is lost for neither. The band itself is still trying to make sense of it all.
” I do not understand. It’s like having really big shoes that you have to wear and pretend they fit,” Teasdale told MTV News over Zoom with a laugh. She was lounging with Chambers on the floor in front of a cozy electric fireplace the afternoon before a show in San Francisco.
This incredible buzz followed them across the pond and across the United States, revealing themselves in surprising ways.
Befitting the pandemonium surrounding any boy band, Teasdale and Chambers had not one, but two bras (and a custom t-shirt) thrown at a crowded show in March at the former steelworks-turned- concert hall. Brooklyn Steel. Selling out shows in the UK and US (including a well-received stint at the South by Southwest ‘rite of passage’), the band were met with increasingly passionate displays of fandom, including including a concert in Seattle. offers small “really cute” neon plastic toys launched on stage.
As funny as it may be, this gesture indicates one thing: people, really, really I love wet legs. Even with just four songs released, the band sold out a string of December gigs in New York and Los Angeles before returning months later to even bigger venues filled with hundreds and hundreds more. (They jumped from the tiny Union Pool to nearby Brooklyn Steel in March, attracting nearly 1,700 more fans in the process.)
As if sold-out gigs and a flurry of TV appearances weren’t enough, the band attracted at least one brilliant comparison to the tastes of the Beatles. Yes, the Beatles. Still, Teasdale and Chambers prefer to stay focused in near-tunnel vision, asking management and friends to refrain from sending in stories about themselves.
“It’s also confusing, because we love music, listening to music. There are so many great bands … that we listen to, and it just makes you appreciate how subjective the art and the music is,” Chambers said.
Teasdale and Chambers, who rounded out their band with friends from the college and music scene for a tight, bouncy and energetic live sound, have since heard Wet Leg singles on the radio and in pubs back home. A shy, laughing Teasdale called the phenomenon “really weird!”
They remain excited, if somewhat bewildered, by their success, but enjoy the process, however tiring it may be. As always, they are focused on the next show. “We’re pretty busy most of the time, so we really don’t think about anything,” Teasdale said with a laugh.
In such a short time, they have come a very long way. Signing with Domino Records saw the band step up considerably from their original demos, working with producer Dan Carey (past credits include Fontaines DC). However, various parts of their initial recordings ended up on the self-titled album.
The LP was actually finished in London in the space of about two weeks in April 2021 – call it a weird feeling to have a full record in your back pocket without an actual single in the world. The Complete Effort is a distinct, relatively compact offering that stays true to what you may have heard from Wet Leg before – with a few fun twists. Seven of its 12 songs clock in at around 3:20 or less (five of those tracks also clock in under three minutes).
Like a viral, memorable tweet that pops up on your timeline and sends you down a rabbit hole, Wet Leg doesn’t need a ton of time or space to capture your attention. And they continue to hold it throughout the self-titled debut album. The record is full of statements of their own, whether they’re clever innuendos or nods to online culture. He jumps straight into the fray with the lean, garage rock-tinged opener “Being in Love.”
Lest anyone think the fresh, burgeoning band is just a flash in the pan, consider the depth found in the quietly sad ode “Loving You,” which places a simple riff alongside a account of a former lover’s new partner: “Sorry if I sound a little upset / When you say she kinda looks like me when we first met. The cheeky “Wet Dream” , backed by an energetic call-and-response and sly, mischievous lyricism, is another highlight.As always, Wet Leg is downright in the fun.
“I Don’t Wanna Go Out” and “Supermarket” take a more mid-tempo approach at different points in wet leg, while the impressive album approaches “Too Late Now” strings, say, Pixies. Its coolest and most relatable moment is the spoken word interlude leading up to the song’s insanely energetic last minute: “Now it’s all bad / I think I changed my mind again / I don’t know if it’s a song / I don’t even know what I’m saying.
As the record draws to a close, it leaves the listener pleasantly exhausted, oddly happy but reflective, and above all, very, very seen. The band is considering expanding that signature Wet Leg sound. Teasdale and Chambers noted a recent Seattle broadcast by psych rock band Kadabra was memorable and inspiring. For now, Chambers said the band just wanted to “just count our lucky stars”.
“Everything we do is beyond anything I could have seen us do,” Teasdale said. “We just want to enjoy all the good things that are happening all the time. Not that we are not ambitious. Where we are now is so wild.
Wet Leg, just like you, is really trying to figure it all out as it goes. Suffice to say they are doing great so far.