Phaedra | Baths


Claire Postelli

In order to fully understand the complexities of this track, it’s important to understand the story behind its name.

In Greek mythology, Phaedra is married to King Theseus of Athens, but falls in love with her stepson Hippolytus. When she confesses her love to him, he refuses her. After she is rejected, she kills herself and leaves a letter saying that Hippolytus assaulted her — an act of revenge in the wake of her death.

From Baths’ brooding album, Obsidian, “Phaedra” shines as one of the most upbeat tracks on the record. Despite its sound production, the lyrical intricacies show Baths sympathizing with Phaedra’s death wish. “The thought of mortality dormant in me,” he sings, aware that this desire to die could resurface at any moment. 

Later, he invisions death as an escape and in that moment, it’s easy to see how he connects with Phaedra’s suicidal tendencies (when a yearning for love is denied, there’s apparently no reason to go on), a concept that is repeated over and over again on Obsidian.