Upon first listening to Obsidian, the sophomore album from artist Baths (Will Wiesenfeld), I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It isn’t uncommon anymore to come across moody, introspective electronic music, especially in 2013. However, the three year hiatus from Baths seems to have been exactly what Wiesenfeld needed after his last album in 2010. The album begins on a high note with Worsening, featuring percussion that resembles the rattling of kitchen utensils while Wiesenfeld’s falsetto hovers over top and moves the song along in pulsing waves.
There’s a clean, dreamy oddness of Baths that flows through the entire album. The orchestration of smooth beats with delicate piano and light techno create a solid base for each song to work off of, yet still resonate an originality of their own. It’s beautiful, but keep in mind that Obsidian covers some pretty dark material. In “Worsening”, Wisenfeld casually poders “Where is God when you hate him most/When the mouths in the earth come to bite at my robes”. The track “Phaedra”, which is without a doubt the catchiest track on the album, moves a quick, driving beat underneath dark lines such as “The thought of dying is dormant in me/Phaedra it is you that made me want to kill myself”. Slow down, Will! We would rather you stick around to keep putting out music like this. The final track “Inter” serves as a reminder for how talented Wiesenfeld is at composing and orchestration. Don’t even get me started about the harmonies.
Obsidian is definitely one of the more unique albums of 2013. If you take the time to sit and listen to, you’ll find that it has a lot to offer.