Until Halifax’s all-female four-piece Wet Denim released their self-titled debut album, it was unlikely the idea of drenched jeans would ever elicit a positive response. But thanks to the poppy, keyboard-driven release by these Haligonians, there’s something better to think of next time it comes up.
Wet Denim is a rich, layered album full of harmonized choruses, upbeat rhythms and strong female vocals. While Halifax is in the midst of punk explosion, Wet Denim stands out by going in the opposite direction—the indie pop album is full of songs to dance or dream to.
The bouncing rhythm of “Last Night,” where guitar, keyboards, and drums bop along as smooth, vocals are layered overtop, is the third song on the album, but is one of the first to grab attention as a misleadingly peppy voice sings, “Last night, last night, last night you died.”
It’s immediately followed by “Leisure,” and a dramatic shift in tone even as the keyboard notes spring alone, peppering the mournful vocals with whimsy, while “My Guy” relies more heavily on a gritty, distorted set of guitar chords.
“Small Town” feels like a staple indie song with quiet vocals while “Surf Song” channels hints of surfer rock with its keyboard swipes and rocking chorus. There’s a catchy, repeating chorus on “Take a Walk” that livens up the series of slower songs—though danceable beats are never far away throughout the ten songs.
Penultimate song “Truth Bombs,” which references its title while singing “You defriended me, not befriended me,” takes on modern linguistics and social media in a strangely dark track. “Wayne’s World” wraps up the album by returning it to the sounds of the first half as the vocals croon into the mic and the keyboards and bass bounce their way to the close.
While female singers are all over indie pop, it’s still rare to see a full band. But Wet Denim are more than their gender, bringing a full, fresh sound to their debut album. The vocals and keyboard stand out especially, setting the tone for each song and juxtaposing against each other at times to create memorable, attention-grabbing moments.
Top Tracks: “Last Night”; “Take a Walk”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)