Review Summary: Bedroom pop with a dance hall bump.
When twenty-six year old Ernest Greene finished up his graduate degree and was forced to move back in with his parents, he almost took it as a personal hit. Amidst a lack of job opportunities, the budding librarian was also in the middle of saving up for an impending marriage; one could understand his disenchantment with his empty wallet and current residence. Embarrassed Greene would take to his laptop at night, crafting almost delicate electro-pop songs with a woozy shoegaze bend and a love for huge beats. Expecting nothing more than personal gratification out of his Myspace postings, the songs took off, leading Greene to distribution and a tour as Washed Out; not bad for a guy who wasn’t looking for success in the first place. You can’t blame the proponents though; the music is infectious. Greene’s half whispered, multi-tracked coos gently glide over his hazy instrumentals. The back beats melt into the synths and key fills, propelling Ernest’s extremely washed voice to the forefront a la My Bloody Valentine. Like Loveless
era MBV as well, his voice albeit pretty indecipherable and certainly washed out, becomes angelic. Really though, it is the laid back aesthetic and dirty production that is the biggest connection between this and the likes of Shoegaze, but it pretty much stops there. Greene tends to infuse his dream-pop beginnings with lush key fills, pounding New Wave beats, and soaring choruses; almost searching for this panoramic sound usually reserved for studio time and successfully nailing it on his MacBook. While only about eighteen minutes long and presumably still riding a certain level of nu-muzak
hype, Washed Out and his EP Life Of Leisure
positions Ernest Greene at an interesting place. He’s proven he can take a collected bunch of elements and bundle them together for twenty or so minutes of great dancey, dreamy, pop music. Question now becomes: is there life for Washed Out past that laptop at mom and dad’s place?