Bathe Alone Dives Into the Depths of Disillusionment

Bathe Alone Dives Into the Depths of Disillusionment

Jun 20, 2024

Bailey Crone, AKA Bathe Alone, could write a whole book outlining the emotional turmoil and catharsis involved in dissolving a relationship. And in way, she did.

In her new album, I Don’t Do Humidity, released earlier this month, the Atlanta dream pop instrumentalist explores the feelings that remain in the wake of toxic friendships and what emotions show their face post-divorce. That exploration is transmitted lyrically and sonically, through sometimes crystalline and other times twisting vocals, mercurial melodies, intermingling layers of sound and crisp production thanks to Crone’s collaborator and friend, producer Damon Moon.

“This record came from a very dark and challenging time in my life, and it’s the most transparent I’ve ever been in my own writing,” Crone tells PAPER. Those ill-lit and gaxing moments can be heard and felt in album single, “Dreamboy,” as Crone’s voice, light yet imbued with tenseness, scolds: “You're not my dreamboy/ I'm not your baby/ You're not my dreamboy/ He'd never break me” over a building and bright caustic orchestration.

“There really isn’t any closure that comes with this [album] actually being released,” Crone adds, noting the vulnerability pouring out of I Don’t Do Humidity. “But it does feel like whatever the Polaroid of this part of my life is has finished developing.”

Below, Bathe Alone tells PAPER how fans have been reacting to IDDH on tour, wanting to scream into the void and writing from the perspective of the other woman.

How does it feel to have I Don't Do Humidity out in the world? What has the initial reaction been so far?

It’s been really interesting watching people react to this record so far. I try not to let the reaction to art be the fuel for creating it, but it feels like people have more to say than ever about my music this time, and I think maybe it’s because I shared more than ever. That’s been super rewarding in these first few days of IDDH being out.

Your album explores divorce, friendship, and toxicity — all coming-of-age themes for women of a certain age. Why did you want to explore those topics, and why now?

I didn’t set out to write a record like this. Lyrics have historically been secondary to the atmosphere of my earlier work, but when writing songs for IDDH, the lyrics were just as much a focus for me. I wanted to scream into the void, and I realized there was a real power in sharing my life in a very direct way.

What songs seem to resonate with fans the most live at the moment?

On our tour with Vacations and Last Dinosaurs last year, we had just started playing new songs from IDDH and they were all unreleased at that point. We kept getting people asking us about “Archive 81” though, which was really cool because it dropped sometime during that tour, so it was nice to feel like people were going to respond to that one already. We’re playing a lot of the songs live now, though. We were really worried about how “4ever” would translate live, but we had a laughable moment playing it for the first time when we realized how hard that one really goes.

Which track from the album was an "aha" moment for you? The moment in the studio, you knew you were heading in the right direction.

I think writing “Victims” was a big a-ha moment. I was singing about the steps of manipulation in the verses, with real examples of things that had happened in my divorce. The a-ha moment was when I realized I was going to write the whole song from the perspective of the “other woman."

Let's talk about your recent single "Dreamboy." How did it come together? What was the inspiration for the track?

We were nearing the end of the record as far as recording goes. We decided to scrap a song that was pretty direct, lyrically, and we were basically panicking because now it felt like there was a part of the story that was untold. It felt like we needed one more song that was going to be pointed with what I was going through and to tell the story of the whole album. I pulled out a chord progression I had made the night before and quickly laid something down to get started.

The instrumental came together quick enough that we knew we had something visceral for the groundwork, but I was struggling with conjuring the emotional wherewithal to write such an intense song. Damon challenged me to go to the darkest part of it all and write about the worst thing that happened. With that, I found that there was a freedom in being able to tell a story with such brutal honesty. I don’t know if that song would have happened without preemptive acceptance and the support that I knew I was going to get on the other side of it.

What are you most excited to share next with your fans?

There’s a few special surprises coming soon that I’m really excited about, but I’m not sure I can say what they are yet! But I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road this fall and sharing this record with everyone from the stage.

Photography: Lindsay Thomaston