Baths – Pop Music/False B Sides (Anticon)

June 2, 2011 by  

For those who don’t know, Baths is a Los Angles based producer who goes by the name of Will Wiesenfeld and he delves into chillwave electronica similar to artists such as Washed Out or Toro Y Moi. He was only 21 when he released his debut Cerulean in 2010 and now he’s come back with not technically his sophomore release but a collection of unreleased songs or B-sides, like it says in the title.

The album drifts smoothly along containing a mixture of instrumentals and songs where Wiesenfeld displays his soft and airy vocals. The vocals compliment the music Baths makes and never alter throughout the thirteen tracks. Songs like ‘Pop Song’ and ‘Nordic Laurel’, which contain Wiesenfeld singing, are the prominent tracks on this release and are memorable unlike the instrumental tracks, which try and make an impression with flurries of glitch sounds, but instead they just float in one ear and out the other.

The production of the album gives off a downbeat electro-pop sound and there are some moments which make you instantly think of Ben Gibbard’s Postal Service project from 2003, this is probably down to the bubbling bit-pop beats bouncing around under Wiesenfeld’s sombre guitar sounds. Then at other points in the album Bath’s stands in a league of his own, ‘Inuria Palace’ shows how good his vocal range can be as he goes from lazy and downbeat to high and melodic over some classical piano suited more for a ballet performance and a drowsy drum beat.

Fans who are expecting more of the same dazzling synths, laid back beats and frantic glitchy-ness Cerulean offered up will be very pleased. This collection just follows on from the first album, containing songs made for lazy day day-dreaming and a soundtrack for floating off on clear waters to the middle of nowhere. The people who are new to Baths might be sceptical about what exactly they are listening to but there isn’t a release that sums up the sub-genre of chillwave more appropriately than what is on this album.

[rating:3.5]


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