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“We won’t be alone in watching Baths’ next steps very closely.”
Based out of the Bay Area, California, Anticon have been letting the rest of the world be up on the “avanthop” the label endorses since 1997. Introduced to Will ‘Baths‘ Wiesenfeld by experimental producer Daedelus, the label was quick to act. Come July 6, Anticon can add Baths’ debut album Cerulean to their releases. Fitting somewhere in between hip-hop, soul, ambient music and Animal Collective’s leftfield pop, Baths has found his own niche, and explored it throughout his album debut.
Lyrically, Cerulean is an intimate encounter with the LA producer. Whether through song on ‘♥‘ or voice samples on the lush ‘Maximalist‘ (”This is what love is telling me to do right now“), the listener is presented with a map of emotions. If lured in to following it, the album will be a thrilling ride. If not, sympathy for Baths musical ventilation should at least ensue. The self-revealing theme and textured sounds bear resemblance Toro y Moi’s 2009 debut, only Baths songs are more contained, less reverbed. Rather than floating into nothing (or anything), the songs retain their sound and theme to the end, making for a more approachable listen.
With their sparse vocals, the largely instrumental ‘Animals,’ ‘Rain Smell,‘ and ‘Rafting Starlit Everglades‘ are cinematic mood setters, making use of anything from grand pianos to snaps, crackles and pops to convey emotions beyond verbal description. A slight downside are the hit-or-miss vocals. Sparingly used, these are great, but there is an inconsistency to the rampant falsettos, which range from a Prince-like funkiness (’Lovely Bloodflow’) to slight awkwardness (’Indoorsy’). But talent is overflowing, and Baths is yet another LA artist in the vanguard of electronic music. Cerulean is a blissful ride that will not disappoint. We won’t be alone in watching his next steps very closely.