Will Weisenfield, aka Baths, has been a fascinating artist to follow through his still relatively short career. The electro-pop producer has developed not only as an artist, but as a human being, in a very forward facing way. His first album, Cerulean, was an optimistic, lively introduction to his work, a declaration that he was so much more than a young, hopeful beatmaker trying to make it work in LA. The production was razor sharp and the lyrics were unlike anything else going on in the scene at the time, by turns almost cartoonishly vibrant and brutally honest, many of them addressing the hardships of being a young gay man in California during the days of Proposition 8.
Then Obsidian came along, following Weisenfield’s battle with a crippling, almost life-threatening onset of e-coli which heavily stymied his musical career. The second album goes to far more sinister places, but is just as masterful as the first. That was just over four years ago, and until know we could only wonder what he would do next. With ‘Yeoman’, and the affixed announcement of his third album, we finally have our answer.
It’s instantly recognisable as a Baths track, from the bubbly tones to the fizzing beat, and once the lyrics come in it’s clear that things are moving back towards a somewhat more optimistic destination. Yeoman is all about taking off and flying away, it’s about wanderlust, adventure, and more literally, the idea of making out with the yeoman of an airship. Baths has always been one to eschew reality in favour of a world he’s built for himself and it’s no different here. You can almost see the Studio Ghibli-esque green vistas and sparkling seas drifting past as you listen.
The intricacy of the production is on full display throughout, and it’s hard not to feel a swell lifting beneath you as the song builds from verse to chorus. It’s not that massive of a leap from the previous two albums but it’s still a significant development, Weisenfield goes at his own pace and his style is so unlike that of anyone else in the scene that there’s no need to update or retrofit it. It worked in 2009 and it still works now. The new album – Romaplasm – is due out on November 17th, pre-order it here.