When Talking Heads arrived on the music scene, they seemed to immediately herald the future in their own truly singular way. As the legendary actor Jeff Bridges put it when discussing their impact with Music Radar: “The Talking Heads were just phenomenal. They affected me in a similar way to The Beatles; they were so fresh and different, and, of course, their songs were like ear candy.”
He later poetically elucidated the wallop of their music when he said, “I was listening to my own music and the stuff that I liked and then suddenly the Talking Heads came out and it was kind of like a splash of cold water.” That refreshing dousing has truly never gone away. Time will tell whether Wet Leg can sustain their current invigorating hype, but seemingly their recent debut has left many folks with damp faces.
Thus, it seems fitting that when the duo from the Isle of Wight were promoting their self-titled debut on BBC Radio 2’s Sofa Sessions back in January, it was a cover of the classic New York band that they chose to throw into the wild cocktail mixture of their set. That album has since gone on to claim the number one spot.
As Wet Leg tweeted in celebration, “So today we found out that our debut album has placed at number one in the UK album charts!! It’s been such an unexpected journey for us hobbits so to find our shmalbum at number 1 is incredible!! We are lost for words and left feeling like we’re wearing our mums high heels.”
Interestingly, however, the same fate did not befall ‘Psycho Killer’ itself. The Alfred Hitchcock inspired single reached a disappointing 92 upon release initially back in 1977. Since then it has become a transcendent anthem that clearly continues to inspire.
Wet Leg’s version joyously captures the playful spirit and dark undertone of the original, while welcoming in their own singular style. With the visceral edge pf punk and the whimsy of their art-pop melodic sensibilities, it’s a cover that seems as simultaneously fresh and timeless as the triumphant original. Perhaps most notable, however, is the fact that Wet Leg clearly have the live chops to back up their sound as they remain crisp, innovative and musicologically sound throughout.