It was the middle of the night back in the summer of 2014. My A-Levels were finished and I was spending one final evening with my school friends. That night, I drove home with Radio 1 blaring (sorry mum). I was thinking about the huge change that was about to happen – moving the few hundred miles between Birmingham and Exeter – when a band I’d never heard of came on. I later discovered this band was Wet and the song was titled Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl, a mesmerising track that featured on the Brooklyn trio’s self-titled debut EP. It encompassed exactly what was going through my mind, the sentimental mood I was in, and the atmosphere of the evening perfectly.
I was hooked. Wet’s sound has been dubbed “soulful electronic indie” and very few other bands have such a distinct sound. On their debut album Don’t You each song flows into the next, nonetheless, each track also works successfully as a standalone creation. Wet have a knack for writing unique melodies, which could so easily sound rigid and forced, and turning them into addictive ear-grabbing tracks, supplemented with echoes and harmonies. Plus, as well as the original EP tracks that gained the band a sturdy following – Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl and You’re The Best – there are nine new gorgeous songs.
Wet write Taylor Swift-esque lyrics and transform them into something cool. As much as I adore Swift, Wet makes the theme of heartbreak sound so much more mature.
“I don’t ever wanna leave you
I never wanna be alone again
But every time I see you
I think of all the ways that this could end.”
– All The Ways
The delicate vocals in All The Ways are filled with emotion, yet gracefully composed rather than belted. They are complemented with synth and beats, which are subtle enough to form a backdrop but do not deter the focus from the lyrics. This minimalist approach is evident throughout the LP as Wet carefully create an effective balance between voice and instrumentation.
The new tracks definitely do not disappoint. It’s All In Vain opens the album with raw and honest lyrics, a tone which is consistent throughout the following ten songs. I can imagine Deadwater being used for screen productions because of how well it captures the intensity of nostalgia. Plus, Weak is far from weak – while it might appear feeble through the opening bars, it turns into one of the sassiest and most upbeat songs on the album. Wet once more adopt a Taylor Swift tactic with an over-use of repetition. Kelly Zutrau sings, “Baby, baby, baby, please don’t leave me, leave me, leave me”. However, while Out Of The Woods became irritating after a few listens, Wet’s sound is so laid-back that it’s difficult to imagine ever skipping over Weak.
There’s no other band on my iPod quite like Wet. Without a weak song on this album, Don’t You is an essential listen for 2016.