Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Washed Out - Eyes Be Closed review

I would be hard pressed to think of an artist or band whose name accurately captured their sound as well as Georgia's Washed Out.  The project of musician Ernest Greene, Washed Out seemed to have appeared out of nowhere and quickly became synonymous with the then newly coined sub-genre, chillwave.

After a few EPs and singles, Washed Out has released the first sample of his debut album, Within and Without, on iconic label Sub-Pop.  Titled "Eyes Be Closed", the single is exactly what we have been expecting.  Heavily processed loops and samples dominate, and effects laden synths swoop throughout.

The song itself is a shimmering piece of 80s nostalgia.  Borrowing from New Wave, lo-fi and shoegaze movements, Washed Out has created a track of unadulterated bliss.  Taking one look at the album art summarizes it all.  This is pop music, filtered and strained to its core.  It creeps up on you and swallows you whole, drowning you in a sea ecstasy.  That being said, if you're not already a fan of Washed Out's brand of fuzzy, summery glo-fi anthems, this single isn't going to change your mind.

Washed Out and his contemporaries create music that is easy to listen to.  It rolls and undulates in waves, literally washing over you.  Despite the immediate likability of these tunes, it remains to be seen whether or not Washed Out can keep our attention for the length of an entire album.  So far Greene has succeeded in delivering pop songs in the three to four minute range that captivate and get the collective blogospehere's panties in a bunch.  It will be interesting to see if he can keep the momentum going over the span of a full length album.

Washed Out - "Eyes Be Closed" by Stereo/Pirate

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