Concert Preview: Baths comes to U Street Music Hall

Vox recommends you get your fill of D.C. music and nights out on the town before the stress of looming finals hits you like a rock (post Georgetown Day, of course). And, she has the perfect suggestion: go see Baths bring his edgy electro-pop to U Street Music Hall on April 22.

In 2010, 21-year-old Will Wiesenfeld dropped his beautiful debut album, Cerulean. Clearly inspired and influenced by the rise in the L.A. beat-making scene, Wiesenfeld created a work of art that some how combined distracting sounds and beats into something with a great deal of emotional clarity. As U Street Music hall described, Cerulean’s “tone was as celestial as its album title, taken from a shade of blue typically used to describe the sky.”

According to Anticon, Wiesenfeld’s record label, his path as a musician started early, when he was 4 years told and willed his parents to enroll him in piano lessons. By 13, he had started mixing his own music using a Digitial Perfomer and a MIDI keyboard, which he was inspired to experiment with after hearing Bjork play for the first time. Taking on the name [Post-Foetus], he picked up a number of instruments and began mixing and composing electronic and acoustic music.

Wiesenfeld held [Post-Foetus] for 6 years, during which he explored the ways in which he could create and exemplify intersections and outer reaches of electronic and acoustic music. As Anticon said: “With Baths, his eclecticism finds its greatest focus yet, in a hail of lush melodies, ghostly choirs, playful instrumentation and stuttering beats.”

His most recent album, Obsidian, evokes an equally edgy and eclectic vibe. However, its much darker, as its name suggests. As Pitchfork said, Wiesenfeld “wanted his second album as Baths to be nothing short of an out-of-body experience.”

However, this was understandable, especially considering the physical and emotional distress Wiesenfeld went through in the period between Cerulean and Obsidian. A debilitating strand of E. coli rendered him “incapable of eating or getting out of bed, let alone creating new music.” After slowly watching his physical body fail him and coming to terms with the emotional stress of his sickness, he channeled all of his pent-up “frustrations and desires–for escape, for artistic growth, for transformation, for death, for self-actualization–into Obsidian.” 

Obsidian is rough, unsettling, and grotesquely candid at times, a stark contrast to Cerulean. But, the dissimilarity between the albums seems to suggest that Wiesenfeld is the complete and multifaceted artist he appears to be. Either way, Wiesenfeld certainly brings a breadth of emotion to electronic music, which is something quite refreshing for audiences.

In need of an emotional catharsis before finals? Vox recommends you go see Baths play with Young Fathers at U Street Music Hall on April 22. Tickets go for $15 and can be purchased here.


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