26th November, 2023
Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: Self Titled Wet Leg

Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better: Self Titled Wet Leg

This entry is part 11 of 18 in the series:
Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better

If you have a particular love for sarcasm, dry humour, self-depreciation and unapologetically honest one-liners, chances are you’d love Wet Leg. This gorgeous U.K duo burst right out of the Isle of Wight into the global indie pop-rock scene in a matter of weeks following the release of their debut singles, ‘Chaise Longue’ and ‘Wet Dream’ last year. Whether you’re into Confidence Man or Lucy Dacus, I promise you, you’ll love this album. It came out less than a month ago, but naturally, I’ve listened to it 2 thousand times and crafted this oh-so-heartfelt review.

Being In Love

First and foremost, this album stands out because it’s so profound under the weight of its own silliness. I’m a sucker for a sad song with a happy beat, and this reminds me of something I can’t put my finger on in the best way possible. It’s nostalgic enough to give you that nice fuzzy feeling but new enough to have you prick up and go, “oh, who are these guys?”.

“I need a lie down
Only just got up
I feel so uninspired
I feel like giving up
I feel like someone has punched me in the guts
I kinda like it cause it feels like 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.

Rhian Teasdale of Wet Leg
Chaise Longue

This song was the first I heard of Wet Leg, and it hooked me instantly. It made me laugh in parts. I love their monotone vocals with the very vibrant production. It’s so fun and, in a way, kind of understated.

“Is your mother worried?
Would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?”

I kind of inherited it [her grandfather’s chaise lounge] and it now lives in my flat. When Rhian stays over it’s also where she sleeps. She actually wrote all the lyrics to ‘Chaise Longue’ whilst sitting on the chaise longue (all day long).

Hester Chambersvia – Under the Radar
Wet Leg – Chaise Longue

This is one of my favourite songs on first listen, and it grew on me after that. It sounds like it would be used as a background song to a montage in a movie where the main characters are just running around having fun in a big city. In terms of production, just as I think I know what the song sounds like, I hear it again, and it’s brand new. There are clearly a lot of influences that go into making music like this, and I’d be curious to know what the band was listening to while putting together this track.

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. Angelica is the name of my oldest friend, so we’ve been to a lot of rubbish parties together. I thought it would be fun to put her name in the song and have her running around as the main character.

Rhian Teasdale

“The ambience was overrated at the party
I want to run away before it’s even started
I look at my feet, then I look for the door (The door)
Can’t find my friends, so I just take a bit more”

I Don’t Wanna Go Out

This one’s slower pace and I’d describe it as lightly dooming. Out of all the songs on this album, this one is the only one you could probably cry to. However, overall I think it just sounds like numbness and confusion.

“It all used to be fun
Now you’re swinging a gun

‘Round your head, seeing red
Can you please repeat what you just said?
Or leave a message at the beep
Because I do not have time
To try to understand
Why you do what you like
But it never really turns out right
At least we are all going to die”

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. You’re seeing all of your friends starting to get real jobs and they’re able to buy themselves nice shampoo.

Rhian Teasdale —via Apple Music
Wet Dream

This one also had quite a bit of radio play when it came out. It’s also extremely fun and slightly amusing, and I could picture festival crowds loving this song.

“Wet Dream” is a breakup song; it came about when one of my ex’s went through a stage of texting me after we we’d broken up telling me that ‘he had a dream about me’.

 Rhian Teasdale via Get In Her Ears

“I was in your wet dream, driving in my car
What makes you think you’re good enough to think about me
When you’re touching yourself, touching yourself, touching your—
Touching yourself, touching yourself?
You climb onto the bonnet and you’re licking the windscreen
I’ve never seen anything so obscene
It’s enough to make a girl blush
It’s enough, it’s enough to make a girl blush”

Wet Leg – Wet Dream

This song somehow reminds me of a Sharon van Etten or St Vincent song. I really like it, it’s one of my favourites. It’s pretty laid back as far as this album goes, but still a little fun and on-brand for Wet Leg.

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.

Rhian Teasdale —via Apple Music

“Gone with the wind, taken by a heathen
Like an April fool was in 2007
Sun goes down every night
No goodbyes, I’m not surprised
I’m left with a lady in ruins”

Loving You

This album is two things – fun and profound. It makes a clear commentary on the nature of life as a 20-something in this age. This is a breakup song, one of the less amusing songs, but another of my favourites. I think this would make a great last song, but that’s not my business. I love the delicate vocals on this one.

“Don’t call me up, you fucked it up
I’m not your friend, I’m not your pal
You’rе fuckin’ wishing that I was though

Every time you see me out
You say you think about in thе midnight hour
I know that you’re just rubbin’ one out up in the shower
Honey, sorry if I seem a little bit upset
When you try calling me crazy
Cause I’m not DTF

Ur Mum

This was the last single they put out before releasing the album. Once again, this amusing, entertaining song is about being frustrated with life. The beat is addictively lively. Again it reminds me of something; again, I can’t name what it is, but I like it.

I was living with this guy on the Isle of Wight, living the small-town life. 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 realised 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.

Rhian Teasdale —via Apple Music

Okay, I’ve been practicing my longest and loudest scream
Okay, here we go
One, two, three, ah

Wet Leg – Ur Mum
Oh No

This is another song that gives a huge satirical nod to modern youth culture. OutKast’s happy beat – sad concept thing back in 2003 with ‘Hey Ya!” is replicated again. “You don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance”… that’s basically this whole album. It’s a weighty statement on our collective sense of apathy.

“I went home, all alone
Checked my phone, oh no
Oh my god, life is hard
Credit card, oh no

You’re so woke, Diet Coke
I feel gross, oh no
I went home, all alone
I checked my phone and now I’m inside it”

You know when you’re having dinner with someone, and they check their phone, and just… go?

Rhian Teasdale via Paste Magazine
Piece Of Shit

This one’s inexplicably groovy. You know that part in Euphoria where Nate is screaming, “what’s wrong with you?” and cassie just says, “okay”… yeah… that’s what this song reminds me of. It’s the vibe of being over it, emotionally detached from someone, acknowledging that someone hurt you but not carrying that pain with you anymore.

“You’re like a piece of shit, you either sink or float
So you take her for a ride on your daddy’s boat”

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.

Rhian Teasdale—via Apple Music

This song is so cute. I saw a tweet ages ago that was like, “be with someone who makes the grocery store fun”. Same concept.

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.

Rhian Teasdale—via Apple Music

“I want to take you to the supermarket
I wanna buy you all the shit that you need
I think I like it at the supermarket
But now security keep asking us to leave

Too Late Now

This was also a single they put out ahead of the album. In all honesty, I forgot it existed before writing this review. But it’s definitely one of my favourites. The lyrical melodies in the verse are addictive, and I love how they contrast with the pace of the chorus. It feels honest. You can hear the emotion in their voice that you don’t necessarily hear anywhere else in the record. The end of this song is a tad more cinematic than the rest, so it makes sense as a final song. It kind of arrives in a place of uneasy closure.

Too Late Now is about sleepwalking into adulthood. Sometimes I get really inside my head and everything can feel very overwhelming. I think this song is about accepting that life can feel a bit shit from time to time.

Rhian Teasdale via Paste Magazine

Now everything is going wrong
I think I changed my mind again
I’m not sure if this is a song
I don’t even know what I’m saying
Everything is going wrong
I think I changed my mind again
I’m not sure if this is the kinda life that I saw myself living
I don’t need no dating app to tell me if I look like crap
To tell me if I’m thin or fat, to tell me should I shave my rat
I don’t need no radio, no MTV, no BBC
I just need a bubble bath to set me on a higher path”

Track Ranking:
  1. Chaise Longue
  2. Wet Dream
  3. Loving You
  4. I Don’t Wanna Go Out
  5. Supermarket
  6. Angelica
  7. Oh No
  8. Ur Mum
  9. Convincing
  10. Too Late Now
  11. Being In Love
  12. Piece Of Shit

“Would you like us to assign someone to worry your mother?”

Tyneesha Williams
Series Index: Critiquing Albums Like I Could Make Anything Better

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