Posts Tagged ‘Washed Out’

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Washed Out’s air conditioning still works, if “Purple Noon” is any indication. Vaporous and immersive, the airy new album from songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ernest Greene’s pet project is a cool, ultra-modern cave of powdery Chillwave luxury and leisure that harkens back to Washed Out’s debut EP, Life of Leisure. That record established the artistically restless Greene as one of the genre’s up-and-coming visionaries, before he started experimenting with stylish synth-pop, full-band psychedelia and hip-hop and samples, not to mention his creative adventures in audio/visual splendor and animation.

To see him assume the role of Bryan Ferry is an unexpected twist, as the young man’s fancy turns from escapism to widescreen romance on Purple Noon. “Too Late” is suave and seductive, with breathy vocals, gentle finger snaps and soft throbs setting the mood, as “Face Up” commits the sweetest taboo of slow dancing with Sade. Drinking in the breezy island grooves and languid beats of Ibiza, “Paralyzed” and “Time to Walk Away” lay around poolside, while the lush and dreamy “Hide” is pure ‘80s pop pleasure that tastes like New Order. Have a fruity cocktail. It’s Purple Noon somewhere.

Almost a week out from the release of Purple Noon, so I thought I’d share another snippet. This song is called “Hide” and its another one of the slightly darker moments on the album. While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Purple Noon is a concept album, it does focus solely on one major theme. It basically examines the various stages of a love-affair – from an initial meeting, to early infatuation, all the way through the heartbreak of when things start to fall apart. “Hide” is about that place in a relationship where its unclear whether its best to just try harder to make it work or to just completely cut ties and move on…

Washed Out  the album “Purple Noon” (Release Date: 8/07/2020 on Sub Pop Records

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Washed Out is Atlanta-based producer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Over three enchanting, critically-lauded albums and an EP, his music has proved both transportive and visual, each release inviting listeners into immersive, self-contained universes. With Purple Noon, his fourth album, and his return to Sub Pop, he delivers the most accessible Washed Out creation to date.

Life of Leisure, Washed Out’s 2009 debut EP, set the bar for the Chillwave era, shimmering in a warm haze of off-the-cuff Polaroids and pre-IG filters. Within and Without, his 2011 full-length debut on Sub Pop, morphed into nocturnal, icy synth-pop and embraced provocative imagery. 2013’s Paracosm was Greene’s take on psychedelia, with a full live band and kaleidoscopic light show, and saw him playing to the largest audiences of his career. The sample-heavy Mister Mellow (2017, Stone’s Throw) delivered a 360 audio/visual experience, with cut-n-paste and hand-drawn animation to match the hip-hop influences throughout the album. With each release, Greene has approached his evolving project with meticulous detail and a steadfast vision.

For Purple Noon, Greene again wrote, recorded, and produced the entirety of the album, with mixing handled by frequent collaborator Ben H. Allen (Paracosm, Within and Without). Production of the album followed a brief stint of writing for other artists (most notably Sudan Archives) which enabled Greene to explore genres like R&B and modern pop. These brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter for Greene as a producer and songwriter. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder, and there’s a more comprehensive depth of dynamics. One can hear the luxuriousness of Sade, the sonic bombast of Phil Collins, and the lush atmosphere of the great Balearic beat classics.

Mediterranean coastlines inspired Purple Noon, and Greene pays tribute to the region’s distinct island culture – all rugged elegance and old-world charm – and uses it as a backdrop to tell stories of passion, love, and loss (Purple Noon’s title comes from the 1960 film directed by Rene Clement and based on the novel The Talented Mister Ripley by Patricia Highsmith). Much like romantic Hollywood epics, the melodrama throughout is strong: a serendipitous first meeting in Too Late; a passionate love affair in Paralyzed; disintegration of a relationship in Time to Walk Away; a reunion with a lost love in Game of Chance. Purple Noon adds a layer of emotional intensity to the escapism of Washed Out’s oeuvre, taking the music to dazzling new heights.

Washed OutTime to Walk Away from the album Purple Noon (Release Date: 8/07/2020) Sub Pop Records.

Washed Out is Ernest Greene, a young guy from Georgia (via South Carolina) who makes bedroom synthpop that sounds blurred and woozily evocative, like someone smeared Vaseline all over an early OMD demo tape, then stayed up all night trying to recreate what they heard. Washed Out is the artist we all need right now; I think you just made this pandemic a bit more tolerable.

Washed Out’s Ernest Greene was one of many artists who found themselves in a state of limbo last month after the widespread cancellations of live performances and unexpected travel restrictions. In Greene’s case, the first effect was canceling a long-planned music video shoot in Italy, where he was set to collaborate with an international team of filmmakers.

In response, Greene took the opportunity to engage his fans, launching a collaborative creative project for the new Washed Out song “Too Late.” The result is a beautiful music video touching every corner of the globe that couldn’t have existed a month ago.

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Greene writes: I’d spent months planning a music video for a new song called “Too Late.” My inspiration was a Mediterranean sunset I saw late last year, and the plan was to shoot on the coast of Italy with a team of UK and European collaborators. As we got closer to the shoot date, word about the severity and the speed of the virus started becoming daily news, and it became clear it wasn’t going to happen the way we’d planned. We tried to move the shoot several times (to Malta, Croatia, Spain, and eventually the UK), and one after another, countries shut their borders. Seeing Italy hit so hard was especially difficult to see.

I put up an IG post asking for fans to help me come up with the raw footage I had in mind – those first few days, as I was going through photos of my trips and tours, the memories of traveling and experiences I’d had took on a new significance. I wanted the video to capture those same moments for other people in their lives, and give us all an excuse to remember what it’ll look like again when it passes.

I went in thinking if I got 100 clips, I’d have enough to make the video I wanted to make. 30 minutes in, I had the 100 clips, and a few days in, I had over 1,200 clips – from London, Bali, Okinawa, Ann Arbor, Dubrovnik and a few hundred other places around the world. It was pretty amazing for me to see the vids and pics flood in like they did.

I was blown away by the response, and I’m excited to share the project with everyone now. For me, it’s turned out to be a much needed reminder of how connected we can all be when we’ve never been more physically distanced from each other. I hope everyone that contributed and everyone that watches the video gets the joy from it I do.

I don’t know what the immediate future holds for Washed Out... I have a lot of new music in various states, and other projects I was looking forward to working on this summer. I don’t know when I’ll be able to tour again, or when any of the other new music will come out, but I’m staying optimistic about both…. Ernest Greene

The move to Stones Throw Records with the release of Mister Mellow—Washed Out’s first album since 2014 ushered in a new iteration of the group that is sample based, chopped and screwed with a dash of his tropical influence. This album is full of low-key, trippy club bangers that feel as though they were meant for ending your night in the early hours on an Ibiza Beach. Laid back melodies with dreamy vocals and the odd flush of psychedelica makes this a pretty enjoyable listen.

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