British indie duo Wet Leg — composed of Rhian Teasdale, 29, and Hester Chambers, 28 — is one of 10 acts nominated for the Best New Artist award at the 2023 Grammy Awards. If their name is called at the show on Sunday, Feb. 5, they will join an impressive list of women who have won the award, such as Megan Thee Stallion (2021), Billie Eilish (2020), and Dua Lipa (2019), to name a few. Formed in the Isle of Wight, England, in 2019, the duo has been making themselves known as a rising indie rock band to be watched. Wet Leg’s debut single, “Chaise Longue”, was released in June 2021 and put the group on the map. It even got the attention of pop-rock legend, Elton John, who played it on his Apple Music radio, per The New York Times.
Not only is the band nominated for Best New Artist, but it also landed two other Grammy nominations: Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue” and Best Alternative Music Album for their self-titled debut project. So, who is the indie-rock band taking over the charts by storm and heading into the 65th Annual Grammy Awards? Read on to meet Wet Leg.
1. Wet Leg Formed In College
Rhian and Hester were both music students at Isle of Wight College and had been performing separately for years. Unfortunately, they both had dismal outlooks on their futures as professional musicians. One night, Rhian had a breakdown on stage when she was two songs into her solo set at a festival at which she drove hours to play. “I started crying hysterically,” she told the NYT. “I’d been playing music for five years, just because it becomes so intertwined in your identity.” She decided on a whim to ask Hester to play with her on stage to help her through the show.
It turned out they had similar stories, as Hester had concluded that music was not going to work out for her, either. After that night, the talented pair decided to form a band for fun — even choosing a silly name to remind themselves they were performing for enjoyment and not because they were expecting to make it to Hollywood. “That’s why it’s so weird. Because the moment we stopped trying to make anyone else happy and did a band for the joy of playing and hanging out, that’s when [things turned for the better],” Rhian explained. They found a manager in 2020 and landed a deal with Domino Records — who notably have a contract with Arctic Monkeys — six months later.
2. Rhian And Hester Adore Each Other
“Rhian is funny and ethereal. This sounds cheesy, but when we met at uni, I knew you were going to do something really wild. You’re just a star. And you’re pretty,” Hester gushed about her musical partner in their New York Times profile. As for Hester, Rhian described her as “kind and generous.” She added, “You’re very quiet, and you have the smallest handwriting I’ve ever seen.”
Together, though, they describe themselves as baby seals. “We’re like two little seals surfing the wave,” Hester noted, with Rhian in agreement.
3. Wet Leg Cancelled Two Shows In 2022 Due To Mental Health Struggles
Rhian and Hester never thought they would be so big, and their rise to fame became a bit too much in Sept. 2022. The stress of their busy touring schedule forced them to cancel two shows in America that month. “truth is that it all got a bit on top of us and we just couldn’t quite manage to get back on that plane. It’s been an amazing year playing our music all over the world but our busy touring schedule finally got the better of us this time,” the band posted on its Instagram page after opening up about their missed Colorado and New Mexico gigs.
“I just want you guys to know that it wasn’t an easy decision at all and I’m sorry I didn’t post anything about it sooner. Our mental and physical health are such easy things to overlook when everything is so exciting and so busy, you barely have a moment to check in with yourself,” the post continued. “Anyway after many big ugly cries and lots of good sleep, we’re back and ready to rumble.”
4. Being In A Band Together Forged An Unbreakable Bond Between Rhian And Hester
The success of Wet Leg has given Rhian and Hester no other choice than to spend most of their time together. Fortunately, it has worked out very well for the pair, who see their relationship as a sort of “weird family”, they told NME in March 2022. “We’re very lucky. It’s a very new, scary thing, and we’re discovering our boundaries that we didn’t know we had. If I’m feeling a bit worried about something, I can be like, ‘Rhian, I’ve got this worry’ and then Rhian will be like, ‘I think it’ll be OK’, or ‘Yeah, I feel this too’,” Hester explained in the interview of their dynamic.
Although they’ve figured out their boundaries, spending time apart isn’t some glorious vacation for the rising stars. “Every time we leave each other for a couple of days and then get back in the van, we’re like, ‘It’s so nice to get the band back together!’” Rhian gushed to NME. “Every day there’s always something – big things, small things – where we definitely need each other. In a really healthy way, not a creepy way. In a cool way.”
5. Wet Leg Opened For Harry Styles
Wet Leg opened for Harry Styles, 29, for his rescheduled Love On Tour dates in Jan. 2023. Harry had been a longtime listener of the British band, as he covered their song, “Wet Dream”, during his May 2022 session at BBC Radio’s Live Lounge. Rhian and Hester called him covering their song “so surreal” during an Oct. 2022 interview with NME.
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