I’m not one to arrive when doors open, let alone to get there beforehand. However, I’ll make an exception for Brooklyn indie darling Wet any day, and especially when I wasn’t quick enough to snag tickets to the band’s performance with Toro y Moi at Stubbs later that evening.
Austin-based vinyl record membership club, Vinylmnky, partnered with the always vibe-y Native Hostel to present an early bird and FREE pre-show acoustic set by Wet’s vocalist Kelly Zutrau. The event, rightly dubbed “an intimate performance,” was quickly moved into Native’s event space in order to accommodate the many Wet enthusiasts looking to connect with the once-elusive band originally brought up on the Neon Gold label (Passion Pit, Icona Pop, etc.).
While we packed into the increasingly crowded space, we enjoyed a reel of Wet music videos, including the longingly, ethereal song “Weak” and partook in the “Wet Bar,” which featured themed-cocktails “Dead Water” and “All in Vain.”
Everyone fell into respectful hushed tones when Zutrau appeared beside the makeshift performance area, dressed in an oversized white t-shirt dress and white sneakers. Carrying just her harpsichord, she was a hipster angel there to bless us all with her dream pop. She mounted her stool and commented on how many people had packed the room…She had been expecting “maybe 30 people to show up.”
After one minor glitch (her harpsichord wasn’t plugged in), Zutrau began with “You’re Not Wrong,” which was produced by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij and sits on Wet’s 2018 LP, Still Run. What on the record feels like an upbeat number (if you ignore the lyrics) with its poppy piano melody, muted vocals à la Tennis and prominent horns section, was completely stripped of any optimism as Zutrau’s vocals and soft harpsichord plucks filled the room.
As she transitioned into “Dead Water,” their first full-length album namesake and a melancholic song perfectly suited for the setting, you could feel everything dissolving away as if she was personally singing to you and just you.
The pros of being privy to such a special performance were unfortunately accompanied by the con that Zutrau could only perform one more song before she had to leave for Wet’s Stubb’s gig. However, right there in Native’s event space, she treated us to a new, never before performed, Wet single.
So new was the song that Zutrau did not even share its name.
The number, simultaneously a beautiful comfort and a warning, contained an interesting dichotomy of lyrics such as “Run far, run fast as you can/Remember don’t trust no man” and “In the end, you’re gonna need somebody.”
Zutrau promptly, yet graciously, departed, and we were left to relish in the heavenly three songs we witnessed. While we filed out into the early evening still absorbing the ephemeral experience, what we did know was, in the end, we were going to need a lot more Wet.