New York City’s Wet Leather identify their sound as “anxiety pop.” It’s an apt descriptor for the quintet’s sound, as their music blends serene melodies with moody synthesizers and shaky beats. The group wrestled with this uneasy sonic territory on their debut EP, Past Lives, last year, and will once again turn their anxious feelings into an asset when they drop their first full-length record later this winter.
Though they’ve managed to guide their emotional disquiet to favorable results, anyone who suffers from constant worry and nervousness will attest that it’s not always so helpful. Despite the success they’ve had with anxiety pop, the band is well aware of the crippling capability of such feelings. With their new single “Shame”, Wet Leather attempt to reconcile their own biting anxiety with the need to continue forward with making music and living life.
“These lyrics came from me trying to understand how anxiety can be this productive force in your life, for better or worse,” says frontman Matt Bernstein.
The track opens with a question, “Are you comfortable?”, which becomes the thesis statement for the rest of the song. Sparkling rhythms pop underneath thudding bass lines and synthesizer grooves as Bernstein sifts through the roots of his anxiety. Throughout the track, he goes back and forth between embracing the stress and railing against the hell it’s caused him. Bernstein might not get a clear answer in the end, but they create some swooning jams trying to figure it all out. It’s appropriate that the lyric video uses police evidence boards as a device, showing just intensely he’s examining his plight.
Watch the lyric video below.