Music Music reviews

My favourite song of 2022. 

On the subject of best songs of 2022, Beyonce’s Summer Renaissance repeatedly gets mentioned. So does Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill which took the charts by storm some 36-years after its original release with no less thanks to Netflix’s Stranger Things. But if we re talking purely about weeks at number one, I believe Harry Styles As It Was is a winner with 15 weeks at the top of Billboards Hot 100. But none of these songs or other notable high flyers of 2022, sit as my favourite song of the year. That honour goes to Ur Mum, Wet Leg’s quirky little charming track from their self titled debut album. But first….

It’s hard to remember a time when a band like Wet Leg made falling in love with them so easy. I guess a huge part of that comes from frontwoman Rhian Teasdale and her co pilot Hester Chambers incredible charm and their quotable lyrics and infectious indie-rock chops. Since last year beginning with Chaise Longue, I also can’t remember another band that has gone this viral so quickly. Moreover, it’s incredible to think that a band like Wet Leg were able to seemingly sellout an entire tour on the strength of their smash hit novelty song about a lumpy couch. (Since its release Chaise Longue now boasts over 37 million streams on Spotify.) When Eddie Vedder thought it appropriate to incorporate Chaise Longue into Pearl Jam’s performance of Daughter in September this year you know the world has gone completely Wet Leg mad. Their popularity is of course no accident. The Isle of Wight indie rockers have tapped into something we just can’t resist and that is poking fun at ourselves and situations. 

Long time friends Teasdale and Chambers have both said in many interviews that Wet Leg originally started as a fun project. They never thought it would explode like it did. All they knew was that they didn’t want to spend their days playing folky sad songs anymore. 

If Chaise Longue was the perfect anti-folk song, the duo’s follow up Wet Dream in September 2021 was even more irresistibly naughty with its punchy guitars and Wet Leg’s signature deadpan humour (“Baby, do you want to come home with me? I’ve got Buffalo ‘66 on DVD”). 

Interestingly, on the strength of these two songs, a record deal with label Domino Records followed that would eventually lead to the release of one of the most refreshingly easy-to-love indie rock albums in recent memory. Sprinkled with their trademark self-deprecating humour and angst, Wet Leg’s self-titled debut was the perfect storm for all bad dancers everywhere in 2022. 

Wet Leg’s vision of the immediate world around them invites us to indulge in their melodrama. For me, Wet Leg’s wild energy is best exemplified in the way Rhian Teasdale sings and her unpredictability which leaves you hanging on her every word wondering what on earth she will conjure up next. Some cynics argue that their collection of guitar pop songs might wear thin by 2022’s end but I bet Wet Leg will be at it again next year flipping the bird at their critics with a new kiss-off inspired collection of tracks. 

Talking about kiss-off tracks, on my favourite song of 2022, Wet Leg’s single Ur Mum begins by throwing shade in the direction of an ex-boyfriend. “When I think about what you’ve become, I feel sorry for your mum.” Instantaneously this obnoxious opening reels us into Teasdale’s world and the one-sided conversation that follows on this break-up song.

“You said that you tried your best / Why’s this such a fucking mess? /You’re always full of it/ Yeah, why don’t you just suck my dick”. 

Teasdale said she wrote Ur Mum to make herself feel better. By taking aim at an ex-boyfriend, even a small town via lyrics like “When the lights go down on this fucking town, I know it’s time to go”, Ur Mum to some extent becomes this incredible cathartic release. One of the great moments on Ur Mum comes near its conclusion where Teasdale lets out a god awful primal bloodcurdling scream. It is genius in its execution and apparently makes for a lot of fun when played live. (See Live on KEXP clip here below.)        

Humour is as they say a great coping mechanism, and Wet Leg will always try and make light of things, even if it’s a shitty situation. This is why so many fans are infatuated by their ability to connect, entertain and make us laugh. This is why Wet Leg’s Ur Mum is my favourite song of 2022.   

Photo credit: The header image of Wet Leg’s Rhian Teasdale (right) and Hester Chambers (left) performing live in 2022 at the PRYZM Kingston is by Flickr user Raph_PH.  It is used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.

3 comments on “My favourite song of 2022. 

  1. They really have soundtracked the year haven’t they?

    • There is a great essay that hits upon your point brilliantly Steve. MTV’s Danielle Chelosky recently said “…Wet Leg feels like a euphemism, which is necessary in 2021, and into 2022 as well, when everything has gone to shit and all you can do is laugh it off and pretend it’s OK.” Not sure how much of that I agree with but there is no doubt Teasdale and Chambers are a breath of fresh air. They are arguably the best music story of the year.

  2. At first I hated “Chaise Longue”, as it just annoyed the hell out of me. But I absolutely love “Wet Dream”, which caused me to reassess Wet Leg and their music. “Ur Mum” is a great song as well. (BTW, “As It Was” is my favorite song of 2022.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: