Album Review: Baths – Cerulean

Baths – Cerulean
Anticon: 2010

While located north of the close-packed Los Angeles Basin, there is nothing suburban about the talented Will Wiesenfeld’s sound. Akin to Daedelus, the artist partially responsible for Will’s [Post-Foetus]-to-Baths metamorphosis, Wiesenfeld works with remarkably large canvas. The album title Cerulean, representing a sky blue coloration, steadily feels appropriate as you sense the record’s grandeur.

The sense of adventure on Cerulean is the most noticeable feature that Baths has brought to the table. Any shackles that may have been hampering Will’s creativity while dwelling in a pedestrian environment are now in pieces. The sounds of fresh water springs and sawgrass blowing in the wind from the organic “Rafting Starlit Everglades” illustrates the triumph of Will’s open world approach. The organic berceuse “Rain Smell”, a challenging piece with its off-kilter rhythm, rewards listeners with brilliant tranquility near-ideal for late night reverie. Comparable to the lively Michael Angelakos from Passion Pit, Will’s shrill notes on “You’re My Excuse To Travel” is a trip in itself.

If you wanted to propose that Toro Y Moi and Washed Out were two separate fields of the au courant chillwave genre, Baths certainly falls on the initial side of the fence. Baths, like Toro, advocates a clean-cut sound opposed to the renowned low fidelity collection that Ernest Greene from Washed Out has in spades. With the cleanliness comes complexity of lyrics; While certainly not over anyone’s head, the messages are sharp and effective. “Feels like I cannot kiss you hard enough, not even if I bore right through you,” Will admits on the conquered last track on Cerulean, “It’s just such physicality is not that much past our youth.” The lines — most found on the second half of the record — donate a personalized touch to the overall venturesome feel.

Will’s enthusiasm just seems to pour out of Cerulian, certainly living up to the hype most had put in place for this young man, handpicked from the forefather of Los Angeles electronic music. Baths has started on the scene with a great debut album, the nod from Daedelus, and a partnership with the wicked Tobacco. One can only hope the momentum keeps up.

3.5 out of 5
[audio:|titles=Baths – Rain Smell]

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