Washed Out consists of a Ernest Greene, who makes electronic music which has been dubbed as “chillwave” (or also known as “bedroom synth”). It’s really relaxing electronic music, something that you’d never hear at a dance club. Many of my summer nights have been spent listening to this guy.
The first song “Eyes Be Closed” may be my favorite track on the record. Really ‘dreamy’ music with an awesome outro. “Echoes” is one of those songs that will just stick with you long after listening to it. The intro synth riff, while not being anything special, is really catchy and gets the job done. “Amor Fati” is the first song on the album that has a real upbeat/happy vibe to it along with catchy vocals. “Soft” is another highlight of the album. It has a really sad/mellow synth riff to it, but the vocals are just outstanding. I don’t get cheesy too often, but whenever I listen to this song I just picture myself driving in my car at night on a summer night with the windows down.
“Far Away” is one of the more forgettable tracks on the record. Offers nothing new that we haven’t heard on the previous songs and is just plain boring. The next track, “Before”, provides us with some much needed spark after that snoozer. It’s not a great song by any means (it is very, very repetitive), but it does have a bit of hip hop influence to it. “You and I” has a nice synth line to it along with a woman’s talking vocals to differentiate it a bit. Up next we have the title track “Within and Without”. It’s quite dull and features more of the same. The last song, titled “A Dedication” threw me for a loop at first because of the piano throughout. It eventually turns into your typical Washed Out song, but by default this is definitely one of the more interesting songs on the record with the different instruments.
Electronic music has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. When I’m in the mood for it, nothing sounds better. My only beef with this album is that nearly every song sounds the same, so in that case, if you don’t like a sample song of his, you probably won’t like any of it. It’s also a very “front heavy” album in my opinion. At least give this a shot if you dig synthpop (and on that note, I highly recommend Cut Copy’s new album, Zonoscope as well).
Music video for “Eyes Be Closed”: