The Mark of Excellence



> > May 24 2013

Baths - Obsidian
By Vincent PollardOn his debut release, Will Wiesenfeld hadn't fully found himself, but on Obsidian, the L.A. musician delivers a much more cohesive vision. Gone are the whimsy and hair-brained sketchbook quality of Cerulean and, staying true to its title, the tone of Obsidian is far darker than the debut or the quietly released Pop Music/False B-Sides compilation. Lyrically, the album veers into bleak territory — the black plague; the cold, animal meaninglessness of loveless sex; our constant fear of God in medieval times — but musically the album is poppier than his debut, presenting a melancholic push-pull contrast of darkness and pop. As well as the obvious Bjrk and early Kate Bush influences — mainstays for Wiesenfeld — echoes of the Postal Service can be heard on more up-beat tracks "Miasma Sky" and "No Eyes," there's a touch of Radiohead on "Ossuary" and even Parade-era Prince can be detected on the more delicate, piano-centred "Ironworks." (That latter influence must have come to him via a more circuitous route, as Wiesenfeld will tell you he's never much listened to the Purple One). Obsidian is a gorgeous suite of electronic pop songs that will draw you in and stay with you for days on end, and somehow it sounds like Baths more than Cerulean ever did.

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