Sleeping is cheating.



As I meet twenty-two year old Will Wiesenfeld – a.k.a Baths – he is undeniably charming and affable, but also delirious from sleep deprivation. “I’ve had four hours sleep in the last three nights,” he apologises. “I’m just running on a state of delirium. I’m not even sure of my own mind!” he spurts.

His bag, containing all of his musical equipment and entire live show, had been lost by airport staff, resulting in some rather frantic searching, fuelled by terror and apprehension at a time when he should have been catatonic. Luckily, his belongings have since been returned and all is well before his 3:15am show tomorrow morning.

Baths flowed onto the bedroom electronica scene last year. His debut album, ‘Cerulean’, was a sea of tranquil, fragile and textural sonic manipulations that, although conjured up aspects already associated with the chill-wave phenomenon taking place, also hinted at something fuller and richer underneath the surface. With a new album of outtakes now out (‘Pop Music/False B-Sides’), Will, I soon learn, is already very keen to show us more of himself and what he is capable of.

“The thing I’m thinking about more than anything is putting out the next one,” he grins, “as I feel like ‘Cerulean’ is a very specific idea that I had for an album, and I don’t want people to think that’s just what I am. It makes me nervous to think that. But I’m sure that’s the case with any musician – they can’t wait to do their next project.”

You’d think that Will was referring to being labelled a chill-wave artist, but the names he’s often bundled in with don’t concern him. “I’m alright with it,” he says rather chirpily. “I mean that Washed Out EP took over my entire summer, as did the first Toro Y Moi album. I was obsessed with it; it was like something I had never heard before. So yeah, I’m down with it.”

Like Toro Y Moi, Will is also a classically trained pianist, who has played from the age of four. A rebelliousness in his teenage years saw him abandon the instrument, but he is fast returning to it. A video on’s ‘uncovered’ section shows Will performing a rather beautiful take on LCD Soundsystem’s classic ‘All My Friends’ that is a revealing snapshot of what lurks beneath in Baths work artistically. Will himself reflects on the return to piano, saying: “It’s going to be a big part of [the next record] – there’s going to be a lot of piano on it. I think in ‘Cerulean’ it wasn’t really ingrained in the record, it was more of an afterthought, but there is going to be a large focus on that, and I also want to write string parts and a whole load of sounds and instruments that hopefully will sound like nothing I or anybody else has done before.”

Baths cover LCD Soundsystem

Evolve as Baths may well do, Will is adamant in his desire keep it a solo project. “With the last record there was some people who I asked for their opinions and sometimes I felt got more opinions than I wanted,” he says, “which scared me. So I’m going to completely abandon that side of things. It’s just going to be me. I may have players do things that I will dictate, but it’s all going to completely be my own thing. I’m not going to get help from anyone.”

Will’s independent and determined manner is hardly surprising considering that, at only twenty two years of age, he has been actively making music on his own for nearly a decade. That his ambition is genuinely matched by his talent is a rare and wonderful thing.

By Daniel Dylan Wray

Originally published in issue 29 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2011.

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