Friday, 15 July 2011
Recommended music: 'Within and Without' by Washed Out
The first full length album by Washed Out (a.k.a Ernest Greene from Atlanta, Georgia) has just been released on the still cool Sub Pop label. Following on from two critically-acclaimed EPs, the record has been produced with Ben Allen, who recently helmed Animal Collective's 'Merriweather Post Pavilion' and Gnarls Barkley's 'St. Elsewhere'.
Having been part of the first wave of chillwave, Greene has moved on a bit here and produced a Balearic, Cafe del Mar-type record perfect for sundown or (sun-up moments) on the beach. While there are no completely standout tracks, little bits within songs bring a smile to your face. The strings in the middle of 'Far Away', for example, are a lovely touch, and the spoken female vocals on 'You And I' bring some human relief. 'A Dedication' has a simple, woozy piano intro that cuts through the hazy production, and 'Echoes' threatens to turn into something more crunchy at the end but never really gets there (I can imagine a great remix for that).
At times it's just too languid for its own good, and listening to it all in one go may highlight its soporific tendencies, but on their own the tracks have a gentleness and dreamy quality. If you're going to buy this on cd then can I suggest you get it from Rough Trade Shops, where it comes with a bonus mix cd full of guilty pleasures like Fleetwood Mac and Bread.
My listening recommendation would be to stick it on shuffle with this year's releases from Holy Other, Chad Valley & Tokimonsta and just drift away.
There's a couple of free downloads below to get you into it.
Washed Out - Eyes Be Closed by subpop
Washed Out - Amor Fati by subpop