Wet Leg: Icons, Not Industry Plants


Wet Leg

Indie rock band Wet Leg’s self-titled album was released April 8, 2022.

Katya Roudakov, A&E Editor

If you’ve heard of Wet Leg, chances are you’re either a dad, a Harry Styles fan, or a compulsive TikTok scroller. An indie rock band that released its first single less than two years ago, Wet Leg is one of the most polarizing acts on the scene today. Their TikTok comment sections are full of rampant hate, accusing them of being industry plants, but their 2022 debut album granted them five songs with over 10 million streams on Spotify, five Grammy nominations and two wins, and an opener slot for Harry Styles on his record-breaking world tour.

I’m here to tell you, definitively, that Wet Leg is a trend-setting, era-beginning, superstar-influencing band whose controversial emergence is only an indicator of their legitimacy.

It’s no coincidence that dads are fans: Wet Leg’s music evokes the zippy, melodic alt rock of ’90s bands like Sonic Youth and The Breeders. Conversational lyric delivery, simple and piercing lead guitar melodies against grungy rhythm guitar, and punchy drums make Wet Leg a far cry from the electronic, overly quantized music of today.

We’ve gotten used to hearing only one voice on a song; Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers share the mic, alternating lead and backup roles and creating engaging call-and-responses. Their voices are imperfect and authentic, deadpan and coated with a scathing awareness of the absurdity of their music. 

In an era where lyrics have become pretentious poetry or bland, meaningless rhymes, Wet Leg finds a way to tell purposeful stories with wit and flair. Snappy references to movies like Mean Girls and Buffalo 66 in “Chaise Longue” and “Wet Dream” let Teasdale and Chambers’ eccentric personalities shine, while songs like “Oh No” and “Too Late Now” provide blistering commentary on the state of society.

Teasdale and Chambers hail from the tiny Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England, and you have to wonder if growing up geographically disconnected from the rest of the world helped them craft such a unique style.

“Piece of Sh*t” is a catchy and droll track about a dirtbag ex that manages to be emotionally charged without taking itself too seriously: “Like a piece of sh*t, you either sink or float.” Its guitar and drums are mellow but classy, straying from the harsher instrumentals on songs like “Angelica.”

It’s a fine line, blending satire and earnesty, telling stories of heartbreak and hatred without sounding pretentious or insincere, but Wet Leg dances down it while juggling catchy melodies, groove, and character.