Baudelaire Spins Despair Into Catharsis on the Urgent Post-punk of “Lethe”

Baudelaire, photo courtesy the artists

Baudelaire made an interesting choice in titling a song “Lethe” invoking name of one of the rivers of the Greek underworld, the one corresponding to forgetfulness and oblivion. Which suits the name of the project borrowing the surname of the Nineteenth Century French symboliste, Decadent and modernist poet of some renown. The lyrics paint a landscape of darkness and emotional urgency while untangling a web of deceit and betrayals in a social circle fraught with fragile and fake relationships even to the point where the line imploring one’s “last remaining friend don’t make me feel better” about a situation that can only turn toxic and unsustainable in pursuit of a life worth living. The pulsing rhythms and guitar paired with dramatic vocals surge with great momentum and riffs run abstract into atmospheric drones and back again in a dynamic that puts guitar sounds on the same sonic plane as the fine synth work suggesting flashes of dark realization and the disorientation that comes with acute disappointment spiraling into a desperate dispiritedness. The catharsis of the anxiety expressed in the song is a more positive form oblivion as transformation and transmuting the intensely bleak mood into inspiration. Fans of early Modern English will appreciate Baudelaire’s aesthetic greatly. Listen to “Lethe” on Spotify and follow Baudelaire at the links below.

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