Wet Leg felt uncomfortable when critics began to give their breakthrough hit “Chaise Longue” a deeper meaning.
“We just had a good time,” said Rhian Teasdale The Independent last week. “And that’s okay.”
Teasdale formed Wet Leg in 2019 with her best friend Hester Chambers; The duo released the single in question last year. Elton John, Florence Welch and Iggy Pop all endorsed the track, with Dave Grohl claiming that the Foo Fighters heard it repeatedly.
“Wet Leg was originally just meant to be fun,” Teasdale said in a statement describing the duo’s origins. “As a woman, you are given so much credit that your only value is how pretty or cool you look. But we want to be silly and a little rude. We want to write songs that you can dance to. And we want people to be happy, even if that’s not always possible.”
On Friday April 8th, Wet Leg released their self-titled debut album. While, as promised, there’s no underlying political agenda to be found, the project is packed with seriously bawdy lines and hilarious pop culture references. Here are our favourites.
“Chaise longue” – mean girls
mean girls has delivered a slew of gems that are still quoted today, including such classics as “We Wear Pink on Wednesdays,” “You Can’t Sit With Us,” and “She Won’t Even Come Here!”
Artists Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift alike drew inspiration from the 2004 blockbuster, with “thank u, next” and “Look What You Made Me Do” respectively referencing the film.
“Is your muffin buttered? Would you like us to hire someone to butter your muffin?” Teasdale says flatly at the beginning of “Chaise Longue”. In the summery 2021 music video, Teasdale says so from behind a pair of sunglasses while Chambers stands in the background, her sun hat covering her face.
You’re quoting Jason, a supporting character in mean girls who makes fun of Lindsay Lohan’s character Cady Heron on her first day of school.
Later in “Chaise Longue,” the line is twisted into an evocative parallel: “Is your mother worried? / Would you like us to hire someone to take care of your mother?”
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“Wet Dream” – @beam_me_up_softboi
“Beam me up, / Count me in, / Three, two, one, / Let’s begin,” the band sings on “Wet Dream.” That may have brought star trek but it’s actually social media that’s being referenced here.
@beam_me_up_softboi is an Instagram account with over 650,000 followers. It posts screenshots of “softboi behavior” via texts, DMs, and dating app conversations, which are submitted anonymously to the site.
A softboi, Teasdale explains of Apple Music, “is someone on the dating scene who comes across as super, super in touch with their feelings and genuinely interested in arts and culture. They use that as currency to try and pick up girls.
“Not only men are softbois,” added Teasdale. “Women can also be totally soft bois. The character in the song is basically that.”
“Ur Mum” – scream therapy
Scream therapy is about screaming to actively let out the frustration that builds up, rather than holding it in. Apparently Kanye West is a fan.
But unlike the album’s final track, Too Late Now, which references modern self-care culture as a whole, Teasdale has first-hand experience with cry therapy. Kind of.
She recalled living in London with friends: “Every Tuesday it would get to 7pm and you’d hear this massive group scream,” she told Apple Music.
“We found out the home of the Psychedelic Society was downstairs and eventually discovered it was scream therapy,” she continued. “I thought it would be fun to wrap that frustration and failure in this relationship into my own personal cry therapy session.”
“Oh no” – pizza rat
Do you remember the pizza rat? The weird meme is based on a viral video from 2015 (which has nearly 12 million views to date) of a brown rat carrying a slice of pizza down the steps of a New York City subway station.
“Live your best life,” the videographer says to the pizza rat as she climbs down the stairs.
Teasdale sings “On my phone, all alone / In the zone, oh no / Hours pass, pizza rat / I like that, oh no” in “Oh No,” which is about doom scrolling and internet culture.
The pizza rat meme was incredibly short-lived — representing the fast-paced nature of social media that Teasdale sings about.
“Wet Dream” – the lobster
“What makes you think you’re good enough to think of me / When you touch yourself, touch yourself…?” Teasdale sings. In the music video, she wears a denim prairie dress, bright red hair scarf, and lobster hands.
In 2015 by Yorgos Lanthimos the lobster, a lobster is the animal of choice for Colin Farrell’s character David, who will turn into an animal if he doesn’t find a mate in the next 45 days. The film satirizes society’s notion that life is only meaningful and complete when you have a partner or family of your own.
Towards the end of the video, Teasdale, Chambers and three men in lobster bibs gather around a dining table in the woods. As the men start eating lobster, Teasdale and Chambers stare into each other’s eyes in panic. Under the music, Teasdale yells, “I’m a**ing lobster!”
‘Supermarket’ – #1 lockdown in the UK
Many people continue to romanticize the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown, linking it to sourdough baking, banana bread, Zoom quizzes and yoga. Oddly enough, we also fell in love with grocery shopping.
“I want to take you to the supermarket / I want to buy you all that shit you need / I think I like it in the supermarket / But now security keeps telling us to leave,” Teasdale sings, referencing that strange sense of escapism supermarkets offered in the first lockdown.
“It was written just as we were coming out of lockdown and there was that time when the highlight of your week was going to the supermarket to do the week’s shopping because that was literally all you could do ‘ Teasdale said.
“I remember queuing for Aldi and it felt like I was queuing for a nightclub.”
wet leg is out now. Read that of the independent rating here.