29 January 2016; Columbia Records
I first discovered Brooklyn trio Wet, made up of singer Kelly Zutrau, and musicians Joe Valle and Marty Sulkow, when I was in the middle of revising for my A levels. I read about them in a magazine, I don’t remember which one, and immediately went to YouTube to punch in the words “Wet Dreams”. You can laugh. I allowed myself an immature snigger then too, but as soon as the song started playing, it was clear to me – there is nothing funny about Wet (‘Dreams’ is the first song on their self-titled EP release in 2013). The sickly-sweet voice of Zutrau and the bouncy beats of their EP provided a welcome relaxation soundtrack to revision breaks in 2014, and in 2016 I am ecstatic about the release of their full length LP.
“Wet” is the perfect name for this band, summing up their sound in one syllable. Every song on their debut effort, Don’t You is dripping like liquid metal. Dripping with emotion, sparkly synthetic beats and a consistently ethereal edge. “Consistent”, is another perfect word to describe Don’t You. There is a difference between an album where “every song sounds the same” and an album where the individual songs work together to create a coherent, complete sound. Don’t You is definitely the latter.
Their lyrics are more earth-shatteringly honest
The album opens with one of my favourite songs off the record, ‘All In Vain’. Setting the tone for the album, Zutrau laments the cracks in a somewhat one-sided relationship. “I don’t believe you when you tell me that you love me most and tell me I’m the only one”, she sings over minimalist trap ticks and synth pulses. The stripped back production on this album is a pleasant reminder to any electronic artists that less definitely is more in some cases. Don’t You is almost entirely self-produced.
‘All The Ways’ and ‘You’re The Best’ are the trio’s best examples of irresistible pop songs – strong melodies but with mature lyrics. The kind of pop music that demands to be taken seriously. Single ‘Deadwater’ unfolds itself as the song goes on, revealing subtle yet surprising elements to Wet’s talents as the lyrics beg a lover to stay, “baby please don’t leave me”. Though many of the trio’s songs are about relationships and lost love, they are unlike any love song I’ve heard before. Their lyrics are more earth-shatteringly honest, “Call me by my real name” is the ambiguous, yet potentially revealing opening lyric to ‘Move Me’, and the music sounds as if you could hold it up to the sun and it would cast a spectrum of coloured light across your skin.
From the start to the devastating closing number, ‘These Days’, Don’t You demands to be heard. It is full of surprises and multiple dimensions and every song is a piece of art in itself. This album sounds like something that should have been produced in front of a Los Angeles sunset, rather than in the isolation of a house in Massachusetts, where the majority of it was actually written. It could be listened to as background music, during sex, or even in films. But it is captivating enough to simply sit and listen to in silence whilst doing nothing else but experiencing the emotional journey that Wet will take you on. Wherever and whenever you choose to listen to it, I promise you, you will love Don’t You.