After sitting on it for months, I’m so happy to be able to share this song “Blades of Grass” off of Wet’s new self-released album Letter Blue. The whole album is good and a return to form for the band, or maybe a return to me connecting with their material, after being lukewarm on their previous LP. Maybe it has something to do with the band self-releasing the album after being signed to Columbia previously? But aside from that – I enjoy it quite a bit – and even features Blood Orange. C’mon now!
“Blades of Grass”, for me, is an overwhelming, knees-buckling, mind-melting highlight – a true song of the year candidate. It’s also nearly impossible to search for. It’s ALSO incredibly tender, slow-building and ethereal. It’s not a song that will blow you away with sheer volume, tempo or overwhelming musical skill, but rather an elite sense of melancholy, beautiful soundscapes, vivid songwriting and gorgeous arrangements.
Instrumentally and lyrically, the whole track bends and sways, much like the subject matter at hand: blades of grass being pushed at will by the forces of the world. We’ve been subjected to some truly punishing circumstances over the last two years, leaving us feeling drained, inhuman and and numb to even our most immediate stimuli. Woozy synths hum and waver in and out of the mix as fluttering strings and patient piano rise and fall in the mix as the song continues to build. Singer Kelly Zutrau’s voice is a great recipient for digital effects like the ones utilized on this track, with faint wisps of autotune to further emphasize the vaguely robotic nature the track, recalling her guest feature on Clams Casino’s debut LP in 2016. After a rise in dynamics around the midpoint of the track, the song kind of breaks down into a series of multi-layered, semi-wordless refrains, with Zutrau carving an instrumental landscape somewhere between Kllo and Majical Cloudz at their most spare. There are more quality upbeat moments on the LP and ones that get back to this tenderness, but in my mind nothing tops this.
It’s a devastating track that really connected with me this year. I’m sure I’d like it under normal circumstances, but you know – things are tough right now. I appreciate music like this that isn’t completely pandering in its sadness, rather occupying a space and just sitting empty for grieving and pain to expand and contract as the days go by. A gaping cave, a maw, tongue out, wind singing through the open nooks and swaying the tall grass that surrounds us. A quiet current lapping below your feet.
Wet’s Letter Blue is out now – buy/stream it HERE.