DARK POP DUO FINDS ITS VOICE IN CALGARY
Will Wiesenfeld’s captivating strain of electronica is highly complex. It is catchy and addictive while simultaneously disclosing perhaps more sombre and morbid sentiments. His music explores intangible and consuming emotions by way of corporeal lyrics keen in nature. Self-described as “dark-pop,” one can feel the foreboding sense of blackness diffused into lush and succulent digital palpitations, if even slightly. Many times, it comes about gushingly in the brief spaces he creates, confronting you with its infiniteness. His songs are so sweetly haunting, it sounds like he might be a kind of mythic Cimmerian creature, but Wiesenfeld is exceptionally warmhearted on the phone and the origins of his dark music’s honeyed tendencies are made clear.
All this being said, Baths is not necessarily a solo project any longer. Wiesenfeld has secured the efforts of Morgan Greenwood, of defunct but deified Calgary band, Azeda Booth, who has been a staple of the Baths live show. Being a longtime fan of the group, Wiesenfeld’s praise for this newfound partner is relentless and swelling. In fact, Greenwood was the focus of most of our conversation.
BeatRoute: What has it been like collaborating with Morgan Greenwood? I know you were a big fan of Azeda Booth beforehand.
Will Wiesenfeld: I mean, if you love his stuff it’s been like having Morgan Greenwood in a band. It’s fucking crazy. Like, we had to build up a new set from the ground up, which was more complicated than I think either of us thought it might be. But, at the same time we were prepared for it — Morgan is a lot more tolerant than I am with technology and there were a lot of times where I would give up and be like, ‘Fuck this,’ and he’d be like, ‘Nah dude, just come on,’ and figure it out in 10 minutes. And then actually touring with him has been very good. I think we‘re both very similar people. We don’t ever fight, really. We just sometimes respect that we need alone time, but there’s no animosity.
BR: Have you guys begun writing songs together, or are you focusing on fleshing out the live show?
WW: We have a new EP coming out where one of the tracks is the first one Morgan and I worked on together, which is really fun. I was still not in Calgary at the time, so we were just kind of emailing things back and forth, but it actually worked really well.
BR: What was it like collaborating since you’re so used to working alone?
WW: The thing is, because it’s Morgan, it felt really seamless in that with his music, it’s always material that I’ve been attracted to. It was emotional for me that he didn’t feel difficult to collaborate with that kind of stuff because he just met my own creative intuition in a similar way. We both have similar ideas, but we also both have similar states of mind in music and I think we both like each other’s ideas a lot. But even when we don’t, we’re pretty direct about it. It’s been very, very easy, whereas I think working with anybody else pretty much like is difficult for me. I butt heads with people a lot and I am quite controlling, so it’s just a special thing that it’s so simple.
BR: How did it start out?
WW: I approached Morgan; I caught him at a moment in his life where he wasn’t doing anything. And I was very lucky. It was a hesitant reply, which is good because he’s smart, but then we tried it out and it worked well.
You know I’ve never been to Calgary before, so it’s exciting because Morgan is going to introduce me to all his homes and I’m finally going to be able to meet people that I’ve known about for a long time. That will be cool.
Catch Baths at the Starlite (Edmonton) on May 13 and at Commonwealth (Calgary) on May 14.
By Nivedita Iyer