tue 21/03/2023

Albums of the Year 2022: Wet Leg - Wet Leg | reviews, news & interviews

Albums of the Year 2022: Wet Leg - Wet Leg

Albums of the Year 2022: Wet Leg - Wet Leg

Although our writer admits it's really one of many contenders

The year's indie success story

Actually, Spotify tells me the album I’ve streamed most this year is Motordrome, the third album by Danish pop star MØ. When I reviewed it back in January I was underwhelmed by its doleful moodiness, but, showing how wrong a quick couple of listens can be, something about its vaguely remorseful, indie-tinged, girl-pop melancholy grabbed me deeper than I’d realised and kept drawing me back.

Some years, my Album of the Year is clear and obvious. It’s the one that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest, listened to with giddy addiction. 2022 has not been such a year. In all honesty, my Album of the Year could quite as easily be MØ or a number of others mentioned below, but, in the end, I plumbed for Wet Leg since it publicly bestrode the last 12 months more than any of my other choices.

Again, the Isle of Wight act’s eponymous debut did not initially impress. Its songs and sound struck as derivative but, as time passed, the pastiche aspect faded and the sheer glorious tunefulness shone through. It’s an album, also, that defines the interlink between “BBC 6Music dads”, the bald old coots who prop up the gig circuit – I suppose I’m one, even if I don’t listen to the station – and a younger generation listening to bands who magpie-pick the long history of recorded popular music in a post-modern manner. It’s not just the monster songs such as “Chaise Longue”, “Wet Dream” and “Ur Mum”, either; the entire album is peppered with gems, from closing motorik slowie “Too Late Now” to the pining indie-pop wit of “Loving You” to driving opener "Being in Love".

Equally worthy of attention are... the twangy, feminist country-rock of Canadian singer Tami Neilson's Kingmaker, the psychedelic doom-metal space-rock of underrated Welsh originals MWWB’s The Harvest, the propulsive Afro-futurist indie fusion of Congotronics International’s Where’s the One, the sharp, angry, smart Ian Dury-esque songs of James Domestic's Carrion Repeating, and, for sheer fun, Beyoncé’s clubland frolic, Renaissance.

The song of the year? That’s easy, and does stand head-and-shoulders above the rest. “Doomscroller” by Metric. Yet more Canadians! A 10 minute epic in three parts and a raging lament for our times that I’ve howled along to at righteous 3.00 AM debauches with friends on more than one occasion.

Two More Essential Albums from 2022

MØ - Motordrome

Tami Neilson - Kingmaker

Musical Experience of the Year

It could have been The Prodigy’s spirit-rousing Keith-less return at Brixton Academy in July, one of the hottest days of the year rendering it an insane sweat-cauldron; it could have been the Black Cat Amigos at Halloween in Berkhamsted Civic Centre, wherein their frontman, a friend, reappeared in storming form after five years away due to desperate afflictions; and it could have been Fab Macca at Glastonbury, disproving the doubters, in fine voice, with a set packed with classic Beatles tunes and special guests; but, in the end, it has to be rising Welsh outfit CVC playing the Latest Bar at the Great Escape Festival in May in Brighton. I’ve heard nothing they’ve recorded that sounds faintly as exciting as the playfully off-the-hook, tight-as-spandex, Seventies-flavoured rock they pull off live. They’ve an album in January so we shall see…

Track of the Year

Metric – “Doomscroller”

Below: Watch the video for "Doomscroller" by Metric

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