Ernest Greene has been involved in a various different musical projects by the time he put out his first long play album under the moniker Washed Out. Central to Greene's music has always been a lazy dream-pop atmosphere but it was when Greene first recorded under the Washed Out name in 2009 that things began to fall into place. Greene released a couple of EPs (Life of Leisure and High Times), both of which were met with positive reactions, and earned him the dubious honour of being referred to as 'King of the Chillwave' by the blogosphere. The first full length Washed Out album, Within and Without, delivers on this promise.
Washed Out is an appropriate term to describe Within and Without. Its nine songs are drenched in synth and are infused with a pleasant sense of drowsiness, as if they've been left out in the sun for too long. The first track of the album Eyes Be Closed lays the groundwork for the rest of the tracks to follow. Taking a significant cue from the likes of Caribou, the song ambles along at a steady pace with its rich and layered sound. In fact, most of these tracks are rich, textured and full of experimentation.
Much has been made of the popularity of so-called keyboard distinctive 'bedroom recording', a term given to the synth-based music popularised by the likes of Memory Tapes and Caribou and continued by Washed Out. Some have criticised it as being a fad, an out-dated Polaroid picture of a musical era which itself is largely extinct. Is that true? Probably not, but Ernest Greene and his fans certainly wouldn't agree. Within and Without might be a bedroom record but it certainly doesn't sound like one.