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Not a bad way to begin a career in the music business: three years ago, the debut album Cerulean earned Album of the Year Honorable Mention recognition from Pitchfork. The A.V. Club liked the CD, too, a lot, and Southern California Public Radio labeled Will Weisenfeld, who is said to have recorded Cerulean in about two months in his bedroom in Chatsworth, “L.A.’s big new electronica musician.” Weisenfeld goes by the shyly uncomfortable stage name of Baths. But that’s an improvement when one considers his previous stage identity: Post-foetus, under which he actually released a few albums.

Baths’ music has been likened to an oddball genre called chillwave, largely for Weisenfeld’s content and swirling ambience and the use of menacing little noises in his recordings. A listener hears abrupt vocalizations set against a mechanical throb disturbed by clicking sounds made from pointy things like pens or scissors, or the rustling of bed-sheets. His gig is a deejay set in which he uses laptops and sequencers and a host of devices to deliver the goods. The stuff is primarily instrumental, but when he sings, Baths can hit a clear and authentic falsetto. But not an operatic falsetto or a castrati like ’80s hair-metal dudes — no, Baths sings more like what I’d imagine an anime mouse from Hong Kong might sound like. Really creepy, truly childlike, and therefore wonderful.

Past Event

Baths, Young Fathers, P. Morris

  • Saturday, May 24, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $15

Yeah, it’s borderline odd (consider the “interests” Weisenfeld posted on his Facebook page: “water, bathing, voyeurism, escapism, hype”), but odd in a California sort of way, and we’re used to that by now, yes? And Baths’ music is every bit as undeniable as were the Beach Boys’ studio attempts to capture whatever vibe was rambling about in Brian Wilson’s psyche in the ’60s. As Danny Elfman’s soundtracks enrich Tim Burton’s films, I’m thinking Baths and David Lynch are a match made in heaven — or hell, possibly.

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