Less than a year ago, Isle of Wight’s Wet Leg released their debut single; the infectious, tongue-in-cheek “Chaise Longue” alongside a suitably irrepressible video. It set Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers off on an unexpected journey.
“It all seems so long ago now,” says Rhian, still a little stunned by the rapid pace of it all. “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
That journey has taken in lobster claws, bubble baths and an elusive mop man alongside numerous TV performances and sell out tours all whilst racking up over 50M streams and 10M YouTube views.
On reaching the top spot, Wet Leg say: “Thank you to those who bought the album, streamed the album, played a song of ours to their captive friends on a long car journey. Thanks to everyone who has come to a show. Thanks to everyone that has shouted “WHAT?!!!!” Back to us after each “Excuse me?” at a gig. Thanks to everyone who has come to a show wearing lobster claws on hands and straw hats and mops on their heads and thank you to everyone that worked on the album. Thanks to everyone for believing in us even before we did! Life is a funny old thing and we feel so much gratitude to you guys for supporting us and allowing us to play music with our friends every night. Thank you thank you thank you so much for joining us on this crazy wave and getting us to number freakin’ one!!”
The album was recorded and produced in the main by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey (“Chaise Longue” and “Angelica” were produced by Jon McMullen and Josh Mobaraki respectively). The main focus was always “good-times-all-the-time” (“Angelica”) right from the start. Whilst the record is for the most part a representation of that sensibility, a dry and often dark sense of humour ripples through. Whether that’s eviscerating a pretentious ex-boyfriend who sends unwanted texts declaring he’s dreamt you were back together and happily married (“Wet Dream”) or being sucked into the 3am doom scroll on the magnificent glam-stomp “Oh No”, reminiscent of an 80s sci-fi film, distilled into two minutes and 29 seconds.
Wet Leg is sad music for party people, and party music for sad people. It is cathartic and joyful and punk and scuzzy and above all, it’s fun. “Wet Leg was originally just supposed to be funny” says Rhian. More and more people are now in on the joke with the two of them, but that spirit remains at the centre of what they do. “Home is now behind you. The world is ahead” concludes Hester.
The band’s UK tour starts tomorrow night. Watch Wet Leg Live on The Porch here.