I happily stumbled across Baths and their latest album Pop Music / False B-Sides II, a follow up to the 2011 album Pop Music / False B-Sides, and it’s one of the best random discoveries I’ve had this year because this is what I envision the future of pop music will be. The glitchy yet enticing sound has this enthralling nature to it that I cannot get enough of and as the album goes on you’ll find yourself questioning how 40 minutes has gone by so quickly.
It’s difficult to judge each song individually throughout the piece as they work so well together as a collective with each one having their own individual essence to it whilst staying true to the sound Baths’ has declined from his previous records Romaplasm and Obsidian. It’s an expressive project that manages to continuously excite me even after listening to it on repeat for the past five days.
You have solely instrumental tracks like Stomach Tile and Fortuna that have a dream pop sensibility to them whilst also having a slight experimental twist with the electronics in the first piece melting effortlessly with the melodic guitar melody while the heavy synths in the latter being reminiscent of early British house music. Entirely different but when place next to each other managed to blend effortlessly in and out of one another.
Sex and Be That are the emotional crux’s of the LP and are also two of the best tracks on the entire record. The combination of strings and synths in Sex is lush, creating a tenderly beautiful soundscape that is hard to ignore with the lovelorn vocals of Baths soaring effortlessly over the production to create an intimate emotional setting. Where as with Be That it’s a somber piano melody that’s prominent throughout that heightens the emotional tensity of the poetic lyrics and melancholy story Baths is portraying. Genuinely two tracks that are utterly mesmerising from start to finish.
There’s even some more cinematic pieces in the mix like The Stones with the ambient drone synths that are perfect to listen to on late night walks and Tropic Laurel which was made to be in an indie art house coming of age movie. There’s also some cracking dance tracks too with Wistful (Fata Morgana) having a truly addictive synth melody and Veranda Shove being a track I’d play at any party I was throwing.
Overall this entire LP is what I want from pop music as the genre begins to grow, the experimental nature, the fresh perspectives, the ability to go into a project and be consistently excited about what’s coming even after listening to it 50 times. Cracking LP and well worth a listen.