Bathe Alone's "Decades & Dreams" Finds Inspiration in Tattoos, Best Friends, and Beach House  [Q&A]


Photo: Nic Huey

If you are compelled by layered harmonies, organ synth melodies, and a very hazy day ethereal vibe, then Bathe Alone is an artist you need to dig into. Bathe Alone is the handle for Atlanta-based Bailey Crone, whose multi instrumental dream pop is so cinematic, it feels like a memory loop is casting while listening. Wanting to know more about this spritely soulful sound, we reached out to ask about her latest single, and what else this southern singer has cooking.

Who is Bathe Alone?

It’s me! I’m Bailey Crone and Bathe Alone is the moniker for what started out as my studio project but has grown into a six piece band on stage.

What is "Decades & Dreams" all about?

A few years ago, I essentially kidnapped my lifelong best friend Jasmine. It was her birthday and I told her we were driving to Nashville to get tattoos. I knew that she loved Beach House and I knew that they were playing a show there, so I tried to keep it a big secret. She had no idea that I got us tickets and the show is just a really sweet memory I have of our friendship. That sparked the idea for the song and everything just sorta came from that.

Love, love, love the layered, call and answer melodies within the tune. How'd the composition come about?

For years, I’ve had my grandfather’s old acoustic guitar sitting in the corner of my music room. It’s in really poor shape and it’s never really been playable. Whenever the idea for "Decades & Dreams" came, I was just trying to get myself into a nostalgic mindset - so I grabbed the junk guitar from the corner and it was sort of just the first thing I played. The main melody for the song was something I wrote on an old pawnshop keyboard that I was feeling super inspired by at the time. After I laid down that idea, I was still working on finishing LP1 but I took it into the studio anyway. We just started layering and arranging other things until we knew we had something special. Damon, my producer, immediately said we should hold onto this one for LP2, and that sort of got the gears turning on the rest of the record.

Any collaborators? Who produced the track?

I work closely with my producer Damon Moon on every song. I met him back in 2018 when I was in a bunch of local Atlanta bands and he was producing their records. One day I approached Damon and said I was working on some solo stuff. I played him the demo for “Tarot Cards” and I remember him telling me that my songs sound like they’re made to be played on huge stages. He’s been a big encouragement for me, and tackling all these Bathe Along songs with him has been the most inspiring process.

You have a very ethereal, melodic sound. How'd you settle on your vibe?

For me, my musical journey actually started in more of the super melodic pop punk sounds of the mid 2000s. I was always drawn to the insane drums and soaring choruses. For the first few years of writing, I wasn’t confident in my voice because I was just comparing myself to the singers in that genre - so I really just focused on making great instrumentals. But in the 2010s, I noticed that there was a surge of pop singers who were singing quieter and breathier, and it made me realize that that was the style I felt confident in as well. After I tried to contribute some of these instrumentals to the bands I was working with at the time, the ones left over happened to be the more dreamy and moody things I had written. I took those and that became the foundation for the Bathe Alone vibe.

Can we expect more of this style in the future, potentially on an upcoming album?

Totally! It’s the same style but it goes even further out into a soundscape. This new record has so much sound design, and so many layers woven within all the tracks. It’s like Last Looks went to space. For those that heard the first record, I’m really excited to see who hears all the easter eggs that we hid in this new album. There’s some callbacks and references to the world that record lives in, and we keep trying to expand what that means.

Besides this excellent single, what else should we be on the lookout for?

There’s going to be a lot of visual content for this record. I’m working on several music videos, and a lot of special things I can’t talk about yet. It’s also a full on live project now, so we have our first shows coming up, and we’re booking loads more. I also just signed with a fantastic label from Kansas City called The Record Machine, and it already feels like a big family. We’re pressing vinyl and have lots of cool merch in the works! I’m also writing and demoing songs 24/7 - and it’s gotten to the point where we have so many songs that we can really cherry pick the best ones for the next record, which is super exciting. LP3 is almost done already. I’ve never been so ahead of schedule.

What’s inspiring you right now outside of music?

Tennis. I grew up playing tennis as a kid and I quit when I started getting bullied by the boys. I haven’t played for over a decade. For the past few years, even before the pandemic, I’ve struggled with panic attacks and found it very hard to go out and be independent for a while. It would happen while I was driving, or just when I was alone. I feel like I’m finally over that hill, and having these random urges to go out and do things. So I asked a friend randomly one day if they wanted to go play tennis with me, and it’s been a recurring weekly event since then. Now I have tons of tennis buds and we play all the time.

Who are your Ones To Watch?

Wet Leg! They seem to be crushing everything they’re doing right now and I’m super pumped to hear more music from them. Also I recently got into a band called Dry Cleaning. The contrast of their vocalist against what the band is doing is super jarring and I can’t look away! She’s super monotone and sounds like a GPS Siri voice, but the band is playing very angular and abrasively. It’s really interesting. The new Elke record is awesome too. It’s her first record and it’s been on repeat for me.

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