Posted in Album Reviews

Baths – Obsidian (2013)

bathsIf you could draft indie rock bands like fantasy football, Will Wisenfeld (aka Baths) would be the very definition of a sleeper. His debut album, the understated Cerulean, was picked by several websites as an honourable mention for album of the year and as one of the “best albums you didn’t hear”. Lumped in with the chillwave phenomena, Cerulean was a decidedly warmer affair than that label would suggest.

New album, Obsidian has a similar sound but is more direct and adds a whole new level of despair that was not present on the 2010 debut. Wisenfeld battled the E Coli virus that left him bedridden for months and heavily influenced the often bleak themes explored on this third release (Pop Music/Failed B-Sides was quietly released in 2011). “Where is God when you hate him the most” (“Worsening”) and “I have no eyes, I have no love, I have no home” (“No Eyes”) are typical of the thoughts throughout.

While the mood is similar, the clattering rhythms and melodic synth lines on tracks such as “Miasma Sky” and “Phaedra” add a glitch pop shot into the equation. Obsidian can be stark and hopelessly introspective at times but the more focused approach makes for a more compelling experience than the often hazy and vague feel of the debut.

7/10

Review also found at UMFM.com

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