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REVIEW: Baths – Obsidian

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on May 23, 2013

Will Wiesenfield, the genius behind Baths,  has reached out and taken a new look at himself and electro pop with his new album, Obsidian.

All the way from “Worsening” to “Inter”, Will’s voice creates a story of life and death, love and sex. Gone are the cutesy children’s voice from Cerulean, replaced with steady drum beats, tender piano and rich vocal layers. Obsidian is a polished, darker, dreamier follow up. This is a huge step up, production wise.

“Miasma Sky”, the already released single, is a calming, compelling, rain-filled treasure. It has a smooth electricity to it which continues in “Ironworks”, a slower, more classical track, and picks up a faster pace with “Ossary”.

From here it grows increasingly sexual, starting with “Incompatible”. Some of the lyrics are a bit dodgy though, for example: “first boyfriend, you live in my house and we share a toilet seat”. There’s also a line with the words “Nurse this erection back to health”. Allright Will.  “No Eyes” follows this up with “It is not a matter of if you mean it, but it is only a matter of come and fuck me”.

However, instead of the standard response of “what the actual fuck.”, somehow you you find yourself  singing along without qualm to these funked up lyrics. I’m not trying to say that Will is an awful lyricist, these quaint rarities stood out amongst greats such as: “Phaedra slipped it into the gruel of the avians/ Phaedra let it fall to the earth like the billions” and “Birth was like a fat black tongue/ dripping tar and dung and dye/ slowly into my shivering eyes”.

The album is amazing as a whole, and there’s not much to complain about, however, the random piano playing in “No past lives” kind of freaks me out, and I feel like this song would be my favourite on the album if he’d just left out those sudden sharps piano jerks.

My favourite therefore would probably have to be the next track, “Earth Death” which is the darkest and heaviest track on the album. It talks of death and decay and begins with the growlings on wild animals. Hear that lion roar.

After the peak of heavy darkness of “Earth Death”, it was surprising to hear “Inter”, which was a calming, wispy tune. Layered with “oos” and nonsensical lyrics. It was as if the clouds had lifted and all was well again.

The album is a journey, each song merging to the next, and its adventurous blackness will be embraced by both the old Cerulean fans and all the new followers. Thank you for the journey Will, I won’t soon forget it. Let’s end with a quote from the mastermind himself:

“The songs and lyrics all came out of a pretty fucked and arduous process of trial and error, but I hope people understand that I’m not the depressed, suicidal, and death-obsessed person the record may paint me as being. These are just darker areas that I wanted to explore.”

Obsidian is out May 28th via Anticon, listen to it here:

01. Worsening
02. Miasma Sky
03. Ironworks
04. Ossuary
05. Incompatible
06. No Eyes
07. Phaedra
08. No Past Lives
09. Earth Death
10. Inter

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