Need To Know: Baths
By Jason Lamphier
Will Wiesenfeld surprises. His music, a textured fusion of West Coast chillwave, aching falsetto vocals, found sounds, and fat, stuttering beats, smacks of the work of a seasoned, plugged-in hip-hop producer, when in fact he recorded it in the solitude of his bedroom at his parents' house in the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, before he even turned 21. While most musicians settle on their record titles late in the game, Wiesenfeld chose to name the first album released under his new pseudonym Baths after a word he'd become fixated on -- Cerulean -- and only then began laying down its tracks.
'Cerulean has different connotations,' Wiesenfeld says. 'It's a blue hue -- not exactly one color, but a lot of different shades. It derives from the Latin word for heaven or sky -- all this positive stuff. I tried to build the songs to meet that mood.' Mission accomplished: A few listens into Cerulean, those rushing beats begin to recede a bit, the refracted piano and guitar melodies start to wash over you, and a sample about finding the courage to radiate your essence (from the album's buoyant highlight 'Maximalist') that should be drippy manages to inspire. 'I'm deeply romantic,' he says. 'The second I came out I realized I could write songs about what I love,' recalls Wiesenfeld, who told his family he was gay while still in high school. 'That was the most magnificent change in my songwriting process. I was actually making music about what I cared about for the first time.' Lucky for us.