You’re on a vessel coasting through the darkness. After landing on a planet with a similar look and feel to the vast jungles of the Amazon, atmospheric sounds surround you with great fervor. Guided through the trees and thicket, whilst the native animals make their noises, you are hurried to an opening in the jungle and greeted by applause and cheers from the local inhabitants of this foreign planet. After being handed the locals’ drink of choice, you feel a sense of nostalgia and camaraderie like you haven’t since the days of your youth. This otherworldly party goes
on for a period of time that can’t even be calculated. Joy and elation are felt by all, and at the end, when the music has stopped, you wake up. Feeling nostalgic, you text some friends to come over, grab some cold cans of beer, put “Paracosm” on the turntable, and recreate the entire experience again.
Whoa. Trippy. That’s what I felt after my first listen to “Paracosm”, the newest full length album from Washed Out. It takes you places.
Speaking of places, we take ownership of a lot here in Alabama. A university that boasts the most college national championships of all time, a city home to some of the smartest people in the country (outside of maybe Silicon Valley), a rich history of obesity, and of course, Channing Tatum. Why can’t we take ownership of Ernest Greene, the man behind the sultry sounds of Washed Out, as well? Although he’s actually from Perry, Georgia and attended UGA, Ernest had a brief stent in the Magic City as a student at Samford University and as an employee of O’Henry’s Coffee Shop (best iced coffee ever by the way). I think I remember him saying at show once that he has family here too. AND his sister went to Auburn. So, he’s basically been here in Alabama all his life.
“Alabama native” Ernest Greene recently dropped his third album “Paracosm” on Sub Pop (home of Nirvana!) in August. If you’re familiar at all with Washed Out’s previous music, then you are also familiar with the overused, blogger-created term from 2008-2010, “chillwave”. The first two Washed Out pieces carry more sample based, Ableton created sounds while “Paracosm” was put together with more live instruments like analog synthesizers, live drums, and acoustic guitar. Check out this short clip about the creation of the album:
Ernest has been known to embrace that term, “chillwave”, a little better than his counterparts like, Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi, but in this new album I’m feeling more spaced out Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie vibes then oceanic, beachy, chillwavey, vibes. This album has a lot of substance and depth and goes in a different direction than the other two. I listened to it about 3 times the day it came out. About halfway through my first listen, I really started to get it.
You should buy this gorgeous new album from Washed Out, and hopefully, a tour will ensue, Ernest will come back to his “home state” of Alabama, and we can all enjoy a performance from this outstanding act. I would even recommend this one for a first time listener. Washed Out is one of my favorite acts from the past 5 years, and I think it should be yours too. If this lengthy review of “Paracosm” doesn’t do it for you, check out this music video (which inspired my “listener experience” above), and you should be sold: