Hidden Track: Baths – “Incompatible”

90569
Baths
“Incompatible”
Obsidian
Anticon

The name of Will Wiesenfeld as Baths resurfaces this year after he’s contributed an opening theme to a culturally phenomenal video game, Dream Daddy. The theme song sounds flamboyant, sparkling, and too candescent from the hot daddies that you can choose in the game. But, acoustic guitar and flowery tune are actually unfamiliar territory for Baths.

When we revisit his 2013’s masterpiece, Obsidian, there’s no acoustic guitar at all. Obsidian is as black as an obsidian stone, an extremely tenebrific record which oversees his desperation and losing of hope. It’s clearly shown on the opening track, “Worsening”. “Where is God/when you hate him the most,” he kvetches on the second part of the track, questioning the existence of a higher being between the grumble and sepulchral choir. The desolation that he feels is unbearable, and this theme recurs throughout the entire album. Wiesenfeld sees death everywhere. On “Miasma Sky”, he begs to be put out of his misery. “Miasma sky, would you swallow me alive?” he wails in pain.

Yet, as we dive in the album deeper, Obsidian grows more personal and intimate as Wiesenfeld reflects on his past failed relationship. The fifth track of the album, and definitely the highlight of the album, “Incompatible” is probably the most carnal and private track that he’s ever written. “Incompatible” showcases Wiesenfeld’s versatility and virtuosity. Its dynamic range elaborates the downhill of his past relationship with his first boyfriend where they share the “same toilet seat”, proving how intimate their relationship that plummets after that. Wiesenfeld feels the hollowness and indifference from his relationship, being apathetic toward his partner. At the chorus where he quietly whispers, trying to reach high note in a raspy voice, he regrets of the “failed maiden voyage”; their ship which carries their love has sunken down. “You know no love remains,” he croons, acknowledging that there’s nothing binds them.

It completely makes sense that four years later he writes the theme song of a dating simulator game. His wounds and fear may have started to fade, but “Incompatible” will always become his memento of how scary and painful committing to a relationship is. He refuses to get stuck in the past and he’s ready to move on.

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