Soaking Up Wet’s Minimalist Pop

27_WetPhoto: Courtesy of Wet. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Brooklyn trio Wet has just one EP to its name, but Kelly Zutrau, Joe Valle, and Marty Sulkow are already turning heads with their take on sultry pop. With a sound that mixes The xx's minimalism with '90s R&B touchstones, the band's steamy sound seems tailor-made for crackling car stereos atop make-out hill. We caught up with the trio for coffee at Williamsburg brunch spot Cafe Mogador to talk the band's debut 10", its Massachusetts origins, and the importance of sound-checks.
College Buddies
Zutrau: "We all met in college. We all came to the city. We're all from Massachusetts. Marty and Joe went to NYU together, and I went to Cooper Union. We did various music projects over the years, and then Joe moved to L.A., and I moved to Providence, and we kept e-mailing back and forth. Then we all moved back to Brooklyn and started practicing and playing shows. That's how Wet started."
Live Action
Valle: "It's been challenging, but fun, to decide what aspects we want to maintain from the recordings. What we should have a lot of control over in real time and what should be foundational. For me, it's been really fun to think about what I want to be able to do while I'm on stage. There are so many ways you could do it — it's exciting to play around with those different elements and see what works."
Zutrau: "It's been fun for us to realize that the live show can be, and will be, very different from the recordings. That gives us room to play around and make choices in terms of what feels good. It's like solving a puzzle. We're still working on it — it's not there yet — but it's come a long way."
Beat by Beat
Sulkow: "When we first started making music, we were making it with beats — not as a conscious stylistic choice — but because we didn't have a drummer. We have a lots of friends who are drummers, but in the city, it's very limiting in terms of where you can practice and where you can play. We were like, 'Let's just not have a drummer for a while.' And, that just evolved into the music we made."
Learning Curve
Valle: "Sound-checks are really important!"
Sukow: "Whoever is mixing and what gear they're mixing on can have such an impact on the final sound and how good you perform. Being able to set up and work with that person, and getting a feel for the room and equipment is really integral."
Zutrau: "It does sound different in every space. In two of our shows, we didn't get a sound-check, and it was fun and went fine, but it was kind of a shit-show. The sound was a little crazy."
Easy Listening
Zutrau: "We all wanted it to be a little more pop-y than the music we'd made in the past. Easier to listen to, more fun, and maybe more minimal. In the past, when we'd made music together, we had worked with a lot of people. We had a process of adding and adding and adding. With this, it was more like taking it apart. We took out anything that didn't need to be there and tried to pack a punch with as little as possible."

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