Last August they booked a set at the Green Man festival in Wales and were surprised to see dozens of fans waiting for them to play. Surely, they thought, all these people had come to see them by mistake. “Once we checked out the sound of our instruments,” Teasdale said, “we had a few minutes to…”
“Have a nervous pee,” Chambers interjected.
“The whole tent was full of pregnant people who had only heard one song at the time,” Teasdale continued. “It was really weird playing in front of a big crowd.”
The effect of “Chaise Longue” was immediate. By the time they started writing the song, Teasdale had moved to London and was working as a stylist on advertisements. She returned to the Isle of Wight to stay with Chambers and her partner Joshua Mobaraki, who tours with Wet Leg as a synthesizer and guitarist. Teasdale’s makeshift bed was a lumpy lounge chair that had belonged to Chambers’ grandparents, which inspired them to write the song while taking some of the lyrics (“Is your muffin buttered?”) from a scene from “Mean Girls”.
Michael Champion of the band Champs, who played bass on the song, liked it enough to contact Hall, who asked to meet them, much to their disbelief. “It’s kind of my sweet spot — the indie new wave guitar music I grew up with,” Hall said. “They are quiet, shy people, and somewhat bewildered by success,” he added, “but there is also a quiet ambition about them.”
The video Wet Leg made for “Chaise Longue” also helped fuel the phenomenon, thanks to Teasdale’s deadpan demeanor and attire (straw sun hats, long white dresses) that make them look like frontier women. from the 1890s. They have since made self-directed videos for “Wet Dream” and “Oh no.” “I trust their instincts,” Hall said. “They’ve been right so far.”
Older listeners might hear echoes of bands from a previous generation, like Delta 5, Elastica or Art Brut. But Teasdale and Chambers do not know any of these groups. Their closest compatriots are Dry Cleaning, Yard Act and Sports Team, young British bands who, despite being born after new wave popularity peaked, emulate the springy bass lines of music, resolute drums and stinging guitars while shedding the ruins of consumer culture, speaking-singing to unmistakably British cadences. These groups share an ability to muster ecstatic objections out of disgust.