For Wet Leg’s Sake we all have to be more Elton


As I walked between a San Sebastian pintxo bar and another, to notice a strange dampness on one side of my pants despite, for the first time in many years, maintaining full bladder control. one evening I began to wonder how sophisticated independent ad campaigns must be in 2021. Since I’m currently ranked 312,437th most influential person under 60 by Forbes, but the first five Ridiculously busy bastards magazine – had scrolled through all the PR emails about Isle of Wight art-indie duo Wet Leg, ignored the monsoon of social media posts touting their brilliance and put my fingers in ears by doing “la-la-la” every time my friends or colleagues have told me about it, had their label sent someone to the Basque region of Spain to hunt me down on vacation and give me a real wet leg, subliminal marketing at its most sinister?

It turns out that Wet Leg is brilliant, shaming me more than I should always try to be more Elton. “I am always on the lookout for new things,” he said. NME for last week’s big read. “I never lost the desire to hear new music.” His new album “The Lockdown Sessions” finds him in collaboration with Lil Nas X, Rina Sawayama and Young Thug, his favorite band of the hour, he claimed, are Yard Act. “He [singer James Smith] mix hip-hop and conversation with electronic music, and it’s a different ball game… I can’t do it but I like it and I wonder how they do it.

Elt attributes exposure to new sounds to his Beats 1 radio show Rocket time introducing him to “a whole bunch of new artists – music that I wouldn’t necessarily have heard otherwise because Apple sends me a lot of stuff … I also scan the websites of NME and places like that to find records I haven’t heard. Even in the 90s, Elton was famous for his dedication to new music, the Steve Lamacq sequin pants.

Each week, he would have two copies of each CD released, to be distributed among the houses. It is an altruistic practice that casts the brilliant certainty that Elton John has already spent hours to hours of Sunn O))) records designed to piss him off his Louis XVI panties, but which arguably did not survive “Permission To Land”. by Les Ténèbres.

Credit: Gonzales Photo – Per-Otto Oppi.

In today’s landscape of music streaming – akin to standing in a relentless torrent of raw sewage from a water company’s drainpipe, trying to grab a glass of clean water – such overall consumption would of course be impossible to maintain for Elton. After updating it on the day of release, for example, ‘DONDA’ would only be ending now. But at 74 years old, Reg is still firmly committed to unearthing new music and shouting it from digital rooftops should inspire us all to challenge the algorithmic flow every now and then, click on a random name and exit out- track, swim upstream. This is where you find the things that no one markets you very harshly, the things that will help shape individual tastes: your Drugstore Romeos, Billy Nomates, Yard Acts, and Wet Legs. Any of them could very well turn out to be your new favorite band.

If only more stars followed Elton’s lead. Hip-hop uses a loosely defined mentoring system, whereby it’s customary to pack your album with verses of upcoming names and emerging hopes – much like a work experience internship where you spend. all week rearranging the gunshots before they give you a crush on the job in question. In rock and pop, however, you are more likely to find your big stars demoting with their peers and heroes to maximize declining sales, arguing with former comrades on Twitter, voting to reduce. the ability of new groups to tour Europe or walk away on vaccine passports rather than supporting publicity-hungry grassroots talent. Pay next? These guys are too busy skimming it off.

Like David Bowie, then – famous fan and collaborator of cutting edge avant-garde artists, new romantics, disco gods, drum’n’bass lynchpins, Pixies and Placebo, in his day – Elton is a rare treasure, living proof that the fires of the new sound discovery does not need to come out. That the slide into traditional boredom is not inevitable. That you can rock, punk, grime and – if you feel like it – shantywaves against the death of light. From now on, for my part, whenever that familiar sodden sinks into my shoes, I’ll remember to open the email, click on the link, Be More Elton…


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