Washed Out – Within and Without

by Shea Geyer (Pharmacy), published July 7th 2011

Moldy | Stale | Edible | Fresh | Tasty!

Chillwave.  It’s the latest music genre to become an overnight sensation after being relatively unnoticed for a year or two. You’ve probably stumbled across it, but you may have classified it as dreamy electronic with some sweet beats. However you describe the sound, it’s definitely the type of music you want to be listening to while kicking back outside on a perfect summer evening.

Ernest Greene, the sole person behind Washed Out, has released two EPs under the Washed Out name over the past two years and is set to release the first full length album July 12th. Within and Without is the best album to be released this summer (okay, maybe not THE best, but it definitely ranks high on my charts). The album opener, ‘€œEyes Be Closed,’€ begins with echoing synth notes before dropping a 90′s-esque hip-hop beat.  More layers of synth beats are incorporated, along with Greene’s dreamy cooing. His voice carries you on the ‘€œchillwave’€ and the one audible lyric you hear before submerging beneath the wave is ‘€œsee the world clearly now.’€ From there, the layering of the synthesizers brings you back to the surface.

Greene’s vocals are more prominent in ‘€œAmor Fati,’€ creating an ethereal atmosphere. Though his lyrics may not always be audible, the way he prolongs the words makes you feel the emotion in the song. The synthesizers utilize strategically placed beats and loops to compliment the emotion behind the vocals.  Contrarily, ‘€œBefore’€ focuses on the beats and synth loops with the vocals adding texture to the dreamscape.

A song that Within and Without could not do without is ‘€œYou and I.’€  The song has more of a hip-hop feel than the rest of the album and incorporates a loop of a female’s vocals.  About two-thirds through the song, the girl becomes the focus of the song as she tempts you with the proposition, ‘€œBut if you want to recreate the sea, another sky for me, I got you.’€

Within and Without is THE summer album to get for late night gatherings.  The entire album is chill, as the genre implies, and has the beats for seductive slow dancing.  If that’s not your thing, it is also an excellent album to listen to and just sit back and relax.  Whatever floats your boat, catch a ride on the chillwave.

The entire album is available for full stream on www.npr.org until the release date of 7.12.11.

Recommended Tracks: ‘€œEyes Be Closed,’€ ‘€œAmor Fati’€ and ‘€œFar Away’€

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