The debut single and video from the Brooklyn indie-rock band “aims to highlight the sticky/sweet nature of love in all its saccharine, addicting yet sticky, embarrassing and grossly vulnerable glory.”
Ever heard of Robert J. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love? WELL! I took a whole two semesters of psych and interpersonal comm approximately a decade ago, so (*adjusts glasses*), allow me to explain.
According to the American psychologist and septuagenarian, there are three components of love that form the three sides (“vertices”) of a triangle: intimacy, commitment/decision and passion. Or in other words: know thy partner, choose to be with thy partner, and want to tear thy partner’s clothes off. Essentially, these are the three ingredients that can either exist alone or combine to create the eight different types of love that define our different dynamics, from friends to flings to the loves of our goddamn lives. Further, relationships naturally shape-shift over time, with certain elements deepening while others sometimes wane. Hence why in the very beginning of a love affair, you’d sooner have sex in a Starbucks bathroom than let your date hear you peeing in it, while a year or two in, you’ve likely forgotten that doors… locks… boundaries… even exist.
SO! Now that we’ve gotten today’s psych sermon done, let’s talk art. Because it’s this relationship progression, one from new love to long-term love, and the resulting feelings, behaviors and sweet/scary/awkward moments that characterize that journey that are explored in the new single and video from new Brooklyn-based indie-rock outfit Wetsuit, which “aims to highlight the sticky/sweet nature of love… in all is saccharine, addicting yet sticky, embarrassing and grossly vulnerable glory.” And it’s a song and video that, a month after booking one of the band’s first shows at Berlin and becoming an insta-fan, I could not be more thrilled to premiere here.
From Wetsuit, this is “Sticky Sweet.”
Wetsuit is one of several killer bands with pandemic roots, and the project started when frontwoman Allison Becker (whom I seem to run into, and dance with, in the crowd of nearly every show I attend) was quarantined at her parents’ house in St. Louis, picked up her old Squier and started once again writing songs in her childhood bedroom. Now, back in Brooklyn with the addition of guitarist Anders Nils, bassist Paul DeSilva, and drummer Zach Koenig, the band is barreling ahead, booking shows across the borough and lining up a New Colossus Fest slot for March—all before even releasing any music. Until, of course, today.
“Sticky Sweet” is the band’s debut, a charming song and candy-colored video that features close-ups of playful, innocent elements like bubble gum, banana splits and poodle paraphernalia in between shots of dessert toppings raining onto deadpan band members, who continue to play, unbothered, as Allison directly serenades the camera without bothering to wipe the whipped cream from her face. It’s these deliberately sweet elements that illustrate a very sweet story, and ahead of the release, Allison sent me the background on the making of the track and the love story that inspired it:
“The lyrics were inspired by a poem I wrote years ago while working at a coffee shop (and falling in love with a barista) that played with imagery of turning steam into foam, hearts and roses. So I was thinking about new love, but also how as a barista you just get covered in sticky sweet substances on the job.
Writing the song also got me thinking about my obsession with gross body stuff and how when you get deep in a relationship with a person you can be popping a pimple on your partner’s back one minute then having sex the next. The line between the sticky stuff and the sweet stuff gets blurred.
This led me to think about all the mundane moments of becoming comfortable with a person, and how at the end of the day we all just want someone to eat pasta with while watching sci fi on the couch.”
As ye old cuffing season approaches and you resume your search for whatever kind of love you’re looking for—a worthy partner with which to, shall we say, fettuccini-and-chill?!—I suggest beginning your hunt at Wetsuit’s show THIS THURSDAY with a sick bill including Jeerleader, Gorgeous, Ouster Nash and Hot Tea at Windjammer. (Tickets here.)
While I can’t promise you’ll find love (and syrup probably won’t rain from the ceiling), I do assure you that everyone in attendance clearly has very good music taste. And while that’s not technically on the triangle—c’mon Sternberg!—I think we can all agree that, let’s be real, that’s definitely the most important thing.
Follow Wetsuit at @wetsuitnyc and add their songs to your Spotify playlists!
Photo (provided by the band): Stephen Faught
Video directed by Elizabeth Renstrom (Senior Photo Editor, The New Yorker) and Paul DeSilva and shot on film in Brooklyn by DeSilva.