This debut could have been a niche critical favourite. Instead, every preconception has been firmly smashed, and they are on track to become the biggest band in the country It's forever been a truism of pop that all it takes is one song to catch a flame, ignite and define an entire generation. Think anything from the dawn of modern pop with The Beatles, to Jack Your Body sparking the House and dance phenomenon in the UK in the late ’80s, to the grunge explosion started by Nirvana and Smells Like Teen Spirit, all the way to Franz Ferdinand with Take Me Out in the noughties.
Had Peter Parker (of Spider-Man fame) eschewed photography (or superheroing) to pursue a career as a musician, his wise old Uncle Ben might have adjusted his advice accordingly to "with great hype comes great expectation. " There's no denying that UK band Wet Leg--formed and fronted by Isle of Wight musicians Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers--have had an inordinate amount of buzz thrust upon them after the release of their addictive lockdown busting debut single "Chaise Lounge. " In some ways, their vertical take-off has followed a similar trajectory to Lana Del Rey's, an artist who seemingly arrived fully formed with the sublime "Video Games," her 2012 debut single.
What is it about the It Girl that makes her so untouchably cool? Above all else, it's just how easy it all is for her. Trying isn't sexy (in the immortal words of 30 Rock, "Wanting to be book is not book!"). While the rest of us scrub our faces, change our hairstyles, and wipe our sweaty palms on the seats of our pants, she steals the show in nothing more than last night's dress and a smile.
Now, thanks to Isle of Wight natives Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers, the standard indie rock appreciator's brain is likely overwhelmed with visions of lobster claws for hands, prairie dresses with sunglasses, and the desperate clambering of an ex onto your car bonnet ("Wet Dream"). The duo have somehow and, seemingly effortlessly, fashioned an entire career within the space of the average human gestation period. Quippy 2021 hits "Chaise Longue" and "Wet Dream" swiftly launched them into airspace most newcomer musicians can but dream about - appearances on late night US TV shows, the coveted NPR Tiny Desk gig, and of course, the inevitable barrage of criticism and scepticism that pairs so well with overnight recognition.
Wet Leg's self-titled LP is the most infectious, alluring, irresistible, and downright fun debut record that's come our way in a long, long time. An album that fully cements their rise, it places the Isle of Wight duo - Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chamber - at the centre of a vortex that moves through their 20s, encompassing that post-graduation lull, boring sex, shitty ex's, and gnawing self-worth issues. Easy on the ear and fantastically pop-centric, Wet Leg match this with a host of tenacious ideas, moving from half-inching Bowie's 'The Man Who Sold The World' riff to a sly Mean Girls reference.
Taking their name from involuntary urination, it was clear that the Isle Of Wight's Wet Leg - vocalist and guitarist Rhian Teasdale and guitarist and vocalist Hester Chambers - offered something different when they appeared in the woozy in-between lockdown periods of 2021.
Released last June, their debut single Chaise Longue already feels as if it has been around much longer; a modern classic that is being talked about as one of the all-time great career-openers, full of indie smarts and sing-speak phrasing that will forever date it to this time.
A heady brew of Stereo Total, Elastica, X-Ray Spex and influential-yet-still-to-break Girl Ray, Wet Leg come complete with backstory (met at college, friends for a decade, formed a band on the top of a big wheel), great name, great logo, a contract to Domino, and high-concept videos.