Wet Leg

Wet Leg

A couple of years before she became known as one half of Wet Leg, Rhian Teasdale left her home on the Isle of Wight, where a long-term relationship had been faltering, to live with friends in London. Every Tuesday, their evening would be interrupted by the sound of people screaming in the property below. “We were so worried the first time we heard it,” Teasdale tells Apple Music. Eventually, their investigations revealed that scream therapy sessions were being held downstairs. “There’s this big scream in the song ‘Ur Mum,’” says Teasdale. “I thought it’d be funny to put this frustration and the failure of this relationship into my own personal scream therapy session.” That mix of humor and emotional candor is typical of Wet Leg. Crafting tightly sprung post-punk and melodic psych-pop and indie rock, Teasdale and bandmate Hester Chambers explore the existential anxieties thrown up by breakups, partying, dating apps, and doomscrolling—while also celebrating the fun to be had in supermarkets. “It’s my own experience as a twentysomething girl from the Isle of Wight moving to London,” says Teasdale. The strains of disenchantment and frustration are leavened by droll, acerbic wit (“You’re like a piece of shit, you either sink or float/So you take her for a ride on your daddy’s boat,” she chides an ex on “Piece of shit”), and humor has helped counter the dizzying speed of Wet Leg’s ascent. On the strength of debut single “Chaise Longue,” Teasdale and Chambers were instantly cast by many—including Elton John, Iggy Pop, and Florence Welch—as one of Britain’s most exciting new bands. But the pair have remained committed to why they formed Wet Leg in the first place. “It’s such a shame when you see bands but they’re habitually in their band—they’re not enjoying it,” says Teasdale. “I don’t want us to ever lose sight of having fun. Having silly songs obviously helps.” Here, she takes us through each of the songs—silly or otherwise—on Wet Leg. “Being in Love” “People always say, ‘Oh, romantic love is everything. It’s what every person should have in this life.’ But actually, it’s not really conducive to getting on with what you want to do in life. I read somewhere that the kind of chemical storm that is produced in your brain, if you look at a scan, it’s similar to someone with OCD. I just wanted to kind of make that comparison.” “Chaise Longue” “It came out of a silly impromptu late-night jam. I was staying over at Hester’s house when we wrote it, and when I stay over, she always makes up the chaise longue for me. It was a song that never really was supposed to see the light of day. So it’s really funny to me that so many people are into it and have connected with it. It’s cool. I was as an assistant stylist [on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Bad Habits’ video]. Online, a newspaper [The New York Times] was doing the top 10 videos out this week, and it was funny to see ‘Chaise Longue’ next to this video I’d been working on. Being on set, you have an idea of the budget that goes into getting all these people together to make this big pop-star video. And then you scroll down and it’s our little video that we spent about £50 on. Hester had a camera and she set up all the shots. Then I edited it using a free trial version of Final Cut.” “Angelica” “The song is set at a party that you no longer want to be at. Other people are feeling the same, but you are all just fervently, aggressively trying to force yourself to have a good time. And actually, it’s not always possible to have good times all the time. Angelica is the name of my oldest friend, so we’ve been to a lot of rubbish parties together. We’ve also been to a lot of good parties together, but I thought it would be fun to put her name in the song and have her running around as the main character.” “I Don’t Wanna Go Out” “It’s kind of similar to ‘Angelica’—it’s that disenchantment of getting fucked up at parties, and you’re gradually edging into your late twenties, early thirties, and you’re still working your shitty waitressing job. I was trying to convince myself that I was working these shitty jobs so that I could do music on the side. But actually, you’re kind of kidding yourself and you’re seeing all of your friends starting to get real jobs and they’re able to buy themselves nice shampoo. You’re trying to distract yourself from not achieving the things that you want to achieve in life by going to these parties. But you can’t keep kidding yourself, and I think it’s that realization that I’ve tried to inject into the lyrics of this song.” “Wet Dream” “The chorus is ‘Beam me up.’ There’s this Instagram account called beam_me_up_softboi. It’s posts of screenshots of people’s texts and DMs and dating-app goings-on with this term ‘softboi,’ which to put it quite simply is someone in the dating scene who’s presenting themselves as super, super in touch with their feelings and really into art and culture. And they use that as currency to try and pick up girls. It’s not just men that are softbois; women can totally be softbois, too. The character in the song is that, basically. It’s got a little bit of my own personal breakup injected into it. This particular person would message me since we’d broken up being like, ‘Oh, I had a dream about you. I dreamt that we were married,’ even though it was definitely over. So I guess that’s why I decided to set it within a dream: It was kind of making fun of this particular message that would keep coming through to me.” “Convincing” “I was really pleased when we came to recording this one, because for the bulk of the album, it is mainly me taking lead vocals, which is fine, but Hester has just the most beautiful voice. I hope she won’t mind me saying, but she kind of struggles to see that herself. So it felt like a big win when she was like, ‘OK, I’m going to do it. I’m going to sing. I’m going to do this song.’ It’s such a cool song and she sounds so great on it.” “Loving You” “I met this guy when I was 20, so I was pretty young. We were together for six or seven years or something, and he was a bit older, and I just fell so hard. I fell so, so hard in love with him. And then it got pretty toxic towards the end, and I guess I was a bit angry at how things had gone. So it’s just a pretty angry song, without dobbing him in too much. I feel better now, though. Don’t worry. It’s all good.” “Ur Mum” “It’s about giving up on a relationship that isn’t serving you anymore, either of you, and being able to put that down and walk away from it. I was living with this guy on the Isle of Wight, living the small-town life. I was trying to move to London or Bristol or Brighton and then I’d move back to be with this person. Eventually, we managed to put the relationship down and I moved in with some friends in London. Every Tuesday, it’d get to 7 pm and you’d hear that massive group scream. We learned that downstairs was home to the Psychedelic Society and eventually realized that it was scream therapy. I thought it’d be funny to put this frustration and the failure of this relationship into my own personal scream therapy session.” “Oh No” “The amount of time and energy that I lose by doomscrolling is not OK. It’s not big and it’s not clever. This song is acknowledging that and also acknowledging this other world that you live in when you’re lost in your phone. When we first wrote this, it was just to fill enough time to play a festival that we’d been booked for when we didn’t have a full half-hour set. It used to be even more repetitive, and the lyrics used to be all the same the whole way through. When it came to recording it, we’re like, ‘We should probably write a few more lyrics,’ because when you’re playing stuff live, I think you can definitely get away with not having actual lyrics.” “Piece of shit” “When I’m writing the lyrics for all the songs with Wet Leg, I am quite careful to lean towards using quite straightforward, unfussy language and I avoid, at all costs, using similes. But this song is the one song on the album that uses simile—‘like a piece of shit.’ Pretty poetic. I think writing this song kind of helped me move on from that [breakup]. It sounds like I’m pretty wound up. But actually, it’s OK now, I feel a lot better.” “Supermarket” “It was written just as we were coming out of lockdown and there was that time where the highlight of your week would be going to the supermarket to do the weekly shop, because that was literally all you could do. I remember queuing for Aldi and feeling like I was queuing for a nightclub.” “Too Late Now” “It’s about arriving in adulthood and things maybe not being how you thought they would be. Getting to a certain age, when it’s time to get a real job, and you’re a bit lost, trying to navigate through this world of dating apps and social media. So much is out of our control in this life, and ‘Too late now, lost track somehow,’ it’s just being like, ‘Everything’s turned to shit right now, but that’s OK because it’s unavoidable.’ It sounds very depressing, but you know sometimes how you can just take comfort in the fact that no matter what you do, you’re going to die anyway, so don’t worry about it too much, because you can’t control everything? I guess there’s a little bit of that in ‘Too Late Now.’”

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