Isle of Wight duo Wet Leg have truly had a stand out moment this year with the release of their debut single garnering so much love an attention. Their tongue in cheek humour mixed with their insatiable musical stylings, marrying their passion for French Disco with a shared love of Jane Birkin, gave them a distinct sonic world that saw their debut Chaise Longue become a runaway success. Receiving widespread universal acclaim, their debut resonated with people unlike any other release during 2021, millions of streams, a cult like fanbase and a unique music video, they truly kicked off their career with a bang.
Chaise Longue isn’t just a regular debut though, it’s their very own mission statement. The addictively infectious number features tongue in cheek lyrics that wriggle their way into the crevasses of your skull with the intoxicating melodies attached to them as the uniquely toned production plays on. There’s something so beautifully British about this too, everything from the lyrics to the general look of the music video gives me flashbacks to the early days of punk mixed with a bit of indie disco and Madness with the witty lyrics. Want something to blast out whilst chilling on your Chaise Longue? Well this track is certainly for you.
They both started their musical journeys at a young age, performing with local bands, working together with friends, before eventually venturing off to college together. Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers began working together on some of Teasdale’s solo music, but it was when they saw Idles perform live that they made a packed to do the same. One release later and they’re already proving that they’re ready to take on the world and share a stage with the band who inspired them to begin with.
With the pandemic restrictions loosening up the duo have now begun to tour the UK, opening for the likes of Declan McKenna and performing at the infamous Latitude festival. With more fans flocking to see them live and their fanbase growing by the day, it’s easy to see they’re not a flash in the pan but a wild fire that’s going to be here for years to come. In short, they’re ready to take on the world and we had the pure pleasure of speaking with them about their journey so far.
Take me back to the day where you decided to form Wet Leg, what was it like?
It was quite memorable for us which is really nice. We were together doing some backing vocals for another band and we ended up at End of the Road Festival. We ended up getting quite drunk and having a lovely time. This is after we’d been playing music together for Rhian’s solo project, which was more folky and just the two of us. We saw all these sick bands and after we saw Idles, first of all they’re such a great band to see live, and they made it all look like so much fun playing music together. After that we were like, okay maybe if we want to do that we should do that. We were both really scared and made a packed about it which turned out to be a fantastic thing for us!
Very true! I can’t lie, I’ve had Chaise Longue on my heavy rotation since it came out; it’s utterly addictive. How does it feel seeing your debut get such a strong and loving reaction from people who’ve fallen for your sound?
It’s really surreal. We had no idea that it was going to be listened to so much and enjoyed which is just the best thing ever! We kinda of put some work in trying to get a career in music but you get swept away by other jobs, so Wet Leg and Chaise Longue was only meant to be a bit of fun so we could get to play some festivals and have a good time. I can’t really process it, it’s so weird. We were even on the end credits of Come Dine With Me! I could not even believe that!
That’s kind of a dream for so many British musicians and people in general, get featured on Come Dine With Me!
What is happening! Can’t really fathom it!
And the whole reason this track came to be was, I believe, because of your Grandad’s own Chaise Longue which Rhian used to sleep on when she stayed round your place. Does it feel weird that little piece of furniture has lead to a big song now?
Yeah, it’s very nice, it feels so weird. Rhian had been sleeping on it for like 6 weeks, so it was only a matter of time before her subconscious mind wrote a fun little song and poem about it.
The music video has also gotten a lot of love. You spent the majority of the pandemic making this video and people have compared it to movies like M. Night Shamylan’s The Village, Little House on the Prairie and even Bill and Ted. Is there any movie you envision Chaise Longue being apart of its soundtrack?
That’s a really good question, I don’t know. I guess it would be Mean Girls for all the references in the track. I don’t know my mind’s gone blank!
A lot of people have wondered what the meaning behind your band name is but you’ve already said that it was just two words you kept coming back to it eventually stuck. If you didn’t go with Wet Leg what would’ve been the two words used to make your name?
There was a really long list and we tried to whittle it down to only a certain few. There were some that were about vampires, others about weirder things! It was so long ago, I wonder if I even have the memo list, I’ll have to try and find it. It’d be a shame for them to go to waste.
Put it on your Instagram, see if there are any takers for them!
Yes! It can be adopt a name haha.
Exactly! You’ve explained in the past how you’re fans of Ty Segall, Bjork and the Ronettes but one which struck by was your adoration of Jane Birkin. What is it about her music you love and how do you think that translated into Wet Leg’s sound?
I’m not sure if it translated directly to the sound, but we definitely love to lean towards that European retro vibe. It’s tricky because there initially there was a lot of raw stuff that we were creating. Honestly there’s so much music to be inspired it’s hard to know where anything came from.
You formed at the very start of the pandemic and now you’re out opening for a multitude of acts and performing at festivals like Latitude, how does it feel to finally get a chance to perform your music live in front of your fans?
It was so weird at first because we didn’t think we had any fans. The gigs we were playing we wondering if anyone would actually come to see us. We’ve been so blown away by all the people who’ve come. We recently finished touring with Declan McKenna and his audience were so sweet and amazing. We were very lucky that they enjoyed and came to watch our sets. It was also great to just get out of the house and play a gig because we didn’t do it for so long. Before the pandemic we’d only played four gigs of the Isle of Wight, which were so small. So going out into the real world has been so surreal!
You mentioned briefly you’re from the Isle of Wight and have been really supportive of the local community, even sharing your love for the Sheer Pink coffee shop. Are there any other places you’d recommend people go if they ever visit the Isle?
Sheer Pink! The best coffee ever and the cutest coffee shop! Also, to dwell on the food theme because I love food, there’s a zero waste cafe and shop called peach, all their food is Vegan and it’s *chefs kiss* delicious. You have to go to the beaches, they’re all so different from each other and so lovely. If you ever come here you need to go to as many beaches as possible. And visit Sheer pink!
I presume that the Isle of Wight music festival must’ve been a big deal for you, seeing so many big acts come to the Isle on a yearly basis and partly the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing today?
Yeah being young and have a major music festival here was so good, because the rest of the time not a lot of things happened. We’ve actually played there a few times before in different bands. There’s a stage called the Cashmere Cafe, it’s amazing and I’m pretty sure it’s charity run where a lot of the local island bands play. This year we’re playing Big Top which is crazy, because I’ve seen so many big bands I look up to on that stage. Idle and Blondie especially!
If there’s ever a point to try and get an Idles collaboration that is the time.
Oh yes! Honestly I don’t know, they’re very cool and I don’t know if we’re cool enough. There’s only one way to find out! Someone phone their manager!
If you could go back in time and give advice to your younger self, what would it be?
I think it would be to accept who I am. It’s really hard to do but being the age I am now and seeing all the pressure and worry and irrational thoughts and feelings is very thought. I guess I’d like myself to have a bit more faith in who they are. Sorry that’s a bit deep isn’t it haha. Life is scary! We actually have a saying that we used when were making our music video and meeting our manager for the first time. These things are scary but you’ve got to feel the fear and do it anyway because you don’t know what can happen!
I can only recommend something a friend told me years ago, you just say 1 2 3 go and you jump right into it.
I love that! That’s so good, I might have to try that!
You should! What’s next for Wet Leg?
We’ve got some upcoming gigs and supporting slots. We’re working on some music too, don’t know all the details yet but hopefully within the next few weeks.
Finally, who’re you Counting In?
Last night we went to see Chubby and the Gang at Bush Hall. They’re amazing, their t-shirts are so cool! Coach Party too, they’re some friends of ours from the Isle of Wight like us and their music is so good. They’re going on tour soon and you should see them if you get the chance!