Meet the Best Friends Behind Wet Leg, the World’s Buzziest New Band


FIELD GAMES
Hester Chambers (left) and Rhian Teasdale of the band Wet Leg. 

Photo: Hollie Fernando/courtesy of Wet Leg

“Frederick Riddle? Kelly Sotherton? Edward Upward?” I’m sitting in the atrium of the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn throwing a few names of notable people from the Isle of Wight at Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers of the band Wet Leg to see if anything resonates. So far we’ve got a no, a no, and a no. (Frederick, Edward, and Kelly are, respectively, a musician, a novelist, and an athlete.)

“Alan Titchmarsh?”

“Yes!” they exclaim in unison. “He’s a celebrity gardener on television!” Chambers, 27, dressed in jeans and a tan V-neck sweater, gushes: “If you’re into gardening, you’d really quite like him.” Finally, I read the last name on my list—“The indie band Wet Leg”—and Teasdale and Chambers simply beam.

It’s a chilly December morning after the triumphant first leg of their first series of concerts in the U.S.—months before the release of their debut album, the handful of gigs sold out in hours—and the longtime friends, both in ponytails, are still growing accustomed to riding the rocket of sudden success: Much of their upcoming tour, timed to the April release of their self-­titled debut is already sold out, and they’re starting to be recognized. “It happened in the airport just a few days ago!” erupts Teasdale, 28, giddy in a white puff-sleeve Chopova Lowena minidress over black tights. “We got off the plane and were queuing for customs, and this guy, maybe our age, was like, ‘Oh—are you in the band Wet Leg?’ ”

Teasdale and Chambers (both play guitar and sing in the band, which is rounded out in the studio and for live gigs with an assortment of friends and session players) are almost blasé when explaining how their breakthrough song, “Chaise Longue”—an impossibly catchy amalgam of pop-punk, French yé-yé, and Mean Girls—happened, or almost didn’t happen.

“I had moved to London,” says Teasdale, who worked as a fashion stylist’s assistant before Wet Leg took off, “but came back to the island for Christmas and was like, ‘Oh guys—can I sleep over at your house for a couple of nights?’ And then Hester and her boyfriend, Joshua”—who plays keyboards and guitar for the band—“made up the chaise longue for me, and I ended up staying for six weeks, baking cookies and painting and going on big walks and having silly dances.” In between all of that, the three recorded what they thought was a fun trifle—and left it sitting in a folder on Teasdale’s laptop for months. “We didn’t really even think about how to play it live or anything,” Chambers says. “It was so dumb,” Teasdale adds. “It was like, No one will ever take us seriously as musicians.



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