Brooklyn trio Wet (not easy to Google, by the way) have been receiving a lot of attention throughout the music world of late, and it’s easy to see why. Their self-titled EP is such an obvious standout among music I’ve heard this year. According to the press release, the three musicians have been playing together since 2006, and it’s clear that those years have given them the time to truly define themselves and create a unique, sultry, incredibly well-considered sound.
I’m going through an extended sulty-vocals/alt-r’n’b/trip hop/chilled-electro phase right now, and Wet fit the bill perfectly. The first track, Dreams, (released in Aus as a single late last year) is sparse and spritely. Blank spaces between the vocals, beats and backing music place a strong emphasis on what is going on. Staccatoed lyrics, synth notes and harmonies add punch and funk to the understated track. It swings from note to note and beat to beat with ease and fluidity. A soft start, but by no means shy.
You’re The Best is mesmerising. The vocals are soothing and so full of love, especially with some of the harmonies and the melodic vocal gymnastics. But, what I’m coming to love about Wet is that it may be sweet, but it ain’t bubblegum. As clear, clean-sounding and immaculately arranged as it is, there’s something else there. It’s not your run-of-the-mill female-led pop/R’n’B, that’s for sure.
Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl is an ethereal, emotional break-up track. It’s very, very well thought out. Starting with lovely fuzziness and some slowly-strung guitars, there’s a repetitive mantra-like simplicity in the melody, a soothing antidote to the subject matter. Wet’s signature use of contrast and subtlety create so much power in their music. I really love the syncopated beat, it’s kind of Massive Attack-esque.
Vocals, courtesy of Kelly Zutrau, are divine. She has the voice of an angel, and it’s probably best shown in the despairing ballad No Lie. It’s a tale of finding the silver lining, of finding the strength to escape a destructive relationship. “My baby, he said he loved me, but that’s a lie, No more Lies, The time I have wasted, But I’ve had enough..”
A heavier drum beat brings the track up toward the latter half. I’m such a sucker for this kind of sound, this is definitely my favourite track off the EP. It’s fairly heartbreaking, too. I imagine this would sound brilliant live, slowed down and silent save for vocals and that beat.
The final track is a remix of the first, Dreams. The UNO Stereo remix hastens the pace, adds spacey synth sounds, small glitches and multiplies the beats, making a jingly jangly dance-floor hit. It’s really fresh and summery, but I prefer the original version, to be honest.
Wet are sensual, introverted and understated. There’s clarity and beauty in every beat of this EP. I want more.