When Wet first caught the public eye with “Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl” in 2013, the trio was all starry-eyed with love, embodying the type of perfect cliché you see on Instagram quote pages with Pinterest backgrounds. “Lately” though, the newest single from their sophomore album out in June, finds lead singer/songwriter Kelly Zutrau with newfound self-assurance and a duo with a more cohesive sound.
Of course, some things never change. Zutrau still holds onto love like a child with her teddy bear as she opens up the four-minute track (“I’ve been bending over backwards just to make you feel like you want it”), and the production of the opening verse stays hushed before fully surfacing during the chorus as it did during their Soundcloud days on “It’s All in Vain.”
However, that doesn’t change the fact that Wet still has a promising future ahead of them. An artist that’s constantly evolving is bound for success (or at least not doomed for failure).
The band’s debut had Zutrau’s voice drenched in reverb, the echoes of her bright soprano voice attempting to fill in the empty spaces of hollow lyricism. Now, the instrumentation Joe Valle contributes is able to take up the necessary foreground to propel the track forward while Zutrau recognizes her self-worth and matures within her own song. She finally has “the nerve” to call out her (ex-)inamorato on his apathy towards their relationship (“And you never like how my songs sound, but you give nothing of yourself”), and that confidence flourishes into a desperate confrontation at the bridge:
And I guess no one’s ever told you no
What do you even want this for?
The question barely has time to linger in the air before fading into another rendition of the chorus, but its effects are everlasting and profound. It’s a testimony to the strength Wet has found in spite of vulnerability, which is the irresistible paradox of love few artists can capture.
But above all, “Lately” captures Wet at their finest — lyrically and sonically — to establish a promising sophomore effort.