washed out

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN WASHED OUT
January 29, 2016 12:04 am

Have you heard a song and wished the artist made more music? Well if you’re a Portlandia fan, you’re in luck.

Ernest Greene is an artist from Georgia whose song, “Feel It All Around” is the theme for the IFC comedy, but you probably know him from Washed Out. Greene’s music is dazed synth pop, self described “no-fi” and it makes me feel like I am in a big tub of glitter. Light, lucid, and aqueous. He definitely has the power to take listeners to other worldly planes, almost as if one was experiencing an astral projection. Washed Out is dream pop royalty.

Washed Out currently has two studio albums, Within and Without (2011) and Paracosm (2013), and 3 EPs, High Times (2009), Life of Leisure (2009), and Untitled (2010).

Washed Out’s latest album is beautiful and summer-like, a prime record for road trips. Washed Out describes himself saying, “the sounds have a very worn, distressed quality about them, much like an old sample. But they also offer much more flexibility because they’re playable.” Throughout his albums, he plays 50+ instruments, mainly focusing on old keyboards.

Currently signed to Sub Pop, if you want to see Washed Out, you’ll have your chance on July 15th at Forecastle Fest in Louisville, Kentucky. Washed Out is also preforming a DJ set in Chicago on March 25th. If you’re around and want to be swept into another dimension, I’d recommend checking either of the sets out.

IT ALL FEELS RIGHT WITH WASHED OUT
November 18, 2015 1:56 pm

If I were to take a wild guess, you, the reader, having ventured into our wondrous world of ATYPICALSOUNDS, might be into ‘indie’ music, which by that extension means, you might recognize this tune.

Washed Out Band Photo. Ernest Greene pictured.

The creative forces behind Portlandia didn’t randomly select that snippet as the backdrop for their sketch comedy roughly based around the ill-defined ‘hipster’ niche. Washed Out’s “Feel It All Around” was the anthem to a short-lived–yet indispensable–piece of nostalgia-injected ambient-electro dance pop that emerged circa 2009 that is referred to as “Chillwave”, often characterized by heavily distorted lyrics, synthesizers, and sampling.  Think Toro Y Moi Causers of This Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms or Aerial Pink’s Before Today.

Washed Out is Athens, Georgia native Ernest Greene. He was discovered on, of all places, his MySpace account—which was still the social media mode of choice for most aspiring bedroom musicians at the time. Greene released his first two EPs High Times and Life of Leisure both within a short span in September 2009.  The former of the two was released via exclusively on cassette tape.  The latter saw a much wider release on Mexican Summer, a Brooklyn-based record company that specializes in elaborate vinyl packaging. Life of Leisure served as a major catalyst for Mexican Summer, which, along with Best Coast’s 2010 debut Crazy For You, was a hot commodity indie label at the time–and was certainly a major player in the vinyl craze that started around that time.  Greene next moved to Sub Pop where he released his debut full-length Within and Without in 2011 and followed up with Paracosms in 2013.

Thematically, Washed Out’s music tends to revolve around one central theme.  Look no further than his debut record cover.  That’s right: Love. Washed Out is a desperate romantic chasing after his muse. The titles of Greene’s tunes don’t really beat around the bush either; for example, “The Sound of Creation,” or “It All Feels Right.” His music is sensuous, immersive, and evocative, and at the same time, quite beautiful and dense.  Make-out music on a mild dose of psychedelia.

YOU WISH YOU KNEW: WISHYUNU
October 21, 2015 8:43 am

Wishyunu (pronounced Wish-You-Knew) is a psychedelic-electronic duo hailing from Portland, Oregon composed of drummer Tony Bertaccini and vocalist Bei Yan.

Like the greenery that surrounds it, Portland’s music scene is a highly fertile place that has given birth to a variety of genres. While Portland and the surrounding cosmopolitan areas in Oregon are known for being central to the rise of garage/grunge rock in the late 80s and alternative rock in the 90s, the mid-late 2000s ushered in an extension of Portland’s DIY creative ethos into the realm of indie-pop and electronica. Bands like Beach House, M83 and Washed Out had begun flaunting the popularity of self-programmed drums and highly compressed/reverberated vocals on the national stage. Portland bands quickly followed suit as new dream pop groups like Blouse, Pure Bathing Culture, and Radiation City began rising out of the woodwork.

Wishyunu’s sound – programmed beats beneath drone-like synths and a highly effected female vocalist – is by no means a groundbreaking endeavor. Their sound is familiar, reminiscent of the shoegaze and dream pop musical trends that have since passed. However, there is something uniquely captivating about the music when you isolate it from its popular music context and listen closely to the material. There is a cinematic quality to each of their songs with psychedelic drones oscillating between the drumbeats and smoky vocals creating this lushly layered and almost poly-rhythmic sound. The song “Summer Suit” the B-side off their most recent two-track 7″ Photoplay has an effective hypnotic quality to it, as if taken from the score of an action movie soundtrack (the soundtrack to Drive comes to mind). The track captured not only the attention of the BEASTS but also the attention of NPR as they featured it on Heavy Rotation: 10 Songs Public Radio Can’t Stop Playing back in July.

As for what’s next for Wishyunu, it seems a bit under wraps. The band’s Facebook indicates that they are currently unsigned and touring locally so it seems safe to say they’re not gearing up to lead a nation-wide shoegaze dream-pop revival. However, outlets like Oregon Public Radio and NPR have indicated that they are gearing up to release another full-length. Perhaps the band has their sights set on something huge that will travel beyond the tree-lined Oregon walls. Only time will tell.

1267690_10151568944536610_120380245_o