By Eddy Lim
Wet is an American indie pop/alternative R&B duo featuring Kelly Zutrau on vocals, and Joe Valle on production. The band’s sophomore release, Still Run, follows their 2016 release of Don’t You (which also featured a third member, Marty Sulkow). The 10-track ‘classic heartbreak’ album is undoubtedly a slow burner, but unfortunately manages to fizzle out before any climax takes place.
As a package, the collection of tracks feel extremely similar in both style and presentation, and makes the album feel like somewhat of a drag. While there are a selection of instruments in the record, the drums are often uninspiring and one dimensional, contributing to the album’s generally flat soundscape.
“You’re Not Wrong” attempts to break free from the undeniable lethargy that surrounds this album, but historically overdone piano stabs and a weak breakbeat simply adds to the recurring theme of Still Run – repetitiveness. However, the band should still be commended for trying to push their boundaries, rather than relying solely on their strengths, which were on full display in their first LP, Don’t You.
Speaking of strengths – “Lately” harks back to the early days of Wet, with lush, filtered chords and muted guitar plucking. Zutrau’s whispery voice dominates the upper reaches of the track, framed against a backdrop that would fit inconspicuously into a Tycho album. It’s a shame that the band didn’t expand on this sound in particular, which garnered them their clout in the first place.
Zutrau’s songwriting is a hit and miss affair – she utilizes a combination of metaphors and bluntness, with little subtlety. This is especially prevalent in “Out Of Tune”, where she laments, “My life without you, like the sky without the moon… My life without you, like a note sung out of tune”. Zutrau’s voice – the one saving grace of the album – lacks power and presence at times, and consequently the conviction desperately needed to steer the album away from mediocrity.
In a sea of down-tempo, alternative R&B breakup albums, Still Run fails to stand out as a record that is particularly memorable or interesting. There are certain high points within the album, no doubt, but unfortunately those points are too few and far between.