Washed Out – Within and Without
Ernest Greene, alias Washed Out, released his debut EP Life of Leisure in 2009, the Georgia-based talent promptly finding favour with blogging hipsters all over the Western world. Unable to sustain his previous release's energy over the course of a full length album, what Greene now offers is essentially a series of mood pieces, all of which exude an iciness that's oddly appropriate for summer listening.
The record's nine tracks are uniformly awash with programmed beats, keyboards, synthesisers and multi-tracked vocals. If a problem lies with them, it's that the songs rarely demonstrate a sense of development or progression, excepting highlight Soft which kicks off with 30 seconds of ambiance only for it to re-emerge mid-way through the song to stunning effect. That few compositions stray too far from their beginnings is forgiveable for a 'Chillwave' act. It's just that Greene may have exercised a little too much restraint on this occasion. [Lewis Porteous]