Wednesday’s “Bath County” Sets Their Sound on a Powerful Track
March 2, 2023
The band Wednesday released their latest single, “Bath County,” on Feb. 23, 2023, and it promises an emotion-packed album that blends together diverse sounds.
Their upcoming album “Rat Saw God” is set to release April 7 of this year. “Bull Believer” and “Chosen To Deserve” have already been released as singles for the album. Together, the three of them show an interesting future for the Asheville band. They keep that shoegaze sound that they’ve been building since their debut, but they expand it to include the country sounds of North Carolina and heavier rock sounds.
As the third single, “Bath County” does a good job at showing listeners what to expect from the album. So far, “Bull Believer” is an eight and a half minute long, heavy and dramatic song that almost sounds dizzying. “Chosen To Deserve” is a part country, part shoegaze poppy tune that’s more relatable and palatable to the casual listener. These songs give two potential angles of the album, and “Bath County” expands upon both of them.
According to their Bandcamp, “Bath County” is about the time that frontwoman Karly Hartzman and her partner spent in Bath County, VA on a trip to Dollywood. It tells a story of misfortune and passion coexisting in Wednesday’s notable narrative-style yet metaphorical lyrics. Hartzman delivers twangy vocals over a heavier, distorted sound that brings together the three singles off of “Rat Saw God.”
“Bath County” allows listeners to take this trip alongside Hartzman. Pairing the narrative-based, literal lyrics with the instrumentals that flow from dark and mysterious to country-rock twang make me feel like I’m having my own grungy yet romantic adventure on the way back from Dollywood. It twinkles yet dims at the same time, telling of both darker and sweeter topics. It gives a realistic portrait of the life of the average person—not glamorous, but exciting nonetheless. The heavy guitars add a feeling of power to the song; they resemble dignity in the common storyline. It’s short in comparison to the previous two singles, but it carries enough emotional power that its brevity can be forgiven.
It balances out the strengths of the previous two singles, too. Like “Chosen To Deserve,” it’s shorter and easier to digest, and it also deals with similar lyrical themes. Sonically, though, it mirrors “Bull Believer” by blending distorted instrumentals with Hartzman’s whiny and twangy vocals. It adds its own unique concepts to the album by making the heavy distortion sound happy. It’s a snippet of the album that came at the perfect time because it gives context to the previous to singles but also progresses the album’s narrative forward, giving listeners a more concrete idea of what to expect once they can listen to “Rat Saw God” in full.
I feel as if there’s few bands that are creating alternative music quite as interesting as Wednesday right now. Listening to the singles off of “Rat Saw God” isn’t just listening to a new album, nor is it quite like listening to anything they’ve released so far. It’s a nostalgic journey through a life that isn’t mine, portrayed through an amalgamation of musical sounds and styles that, though different, mesh together seamlessly.
“Bath County” may be short compared to the two singles that precede it, but it gives me just the amount I need to taste the future of the album. Being a misfit in the suburbs, feeling like a trainwreck, drowning out your emotions with ‘90s shoegaze—all of these feelings live in the upcoming Wednesday album. I have no doubt that when the full album drops on April 7, it’ll be a contender for album of the year