Washed Out returns with his second album Paracosm, and after the hazy yet picturesque journey it takes you on you come out feeling that a definite sense of progression, albeit subtle progression, has been made.
It’s impossible to discuss Washed Out without referring back to the chillwave genre that he once pioneered. Chillwave, at one point in time, was seen as the ultra-hip arm of electronic music, but it’s that elitist following that soon saw it, unfairly maybe, turn into one of the most derided genres of all time.
Washed Out was undoubtedly the poster boy and his first EP Life Of Leisure the go-to album to anyone who wanted to see what all the Pitchfork fuss was about. As the genre turned into somewhat of a joke (‘Feel It All Around’ was used as the theme tune for the hipster-bashing American sitcom ‘Portlandia’) Ernest Greene was forced to fight back, and from that defence his debut album Within And Without, a beautiful summery album with more depth than his previous output, was spawned.
With Paracosm Greene has once again changed direction, moving towards a more pastoral and trippy sound. Instruments of all colour and creed create luscious swirls of hazy reverb, with Greene’s dreamy vocals and lyrics neither dominating nor lying too low, they simply meander along in a way most fitting to this psychedelic trip of an album.
Paracosm is there purely for you to dive into, it might not be a record you put on during your next barbecue but it doesn’t want to be that sort of an album. It’s a sunny and chipper introverted escape that cements Washed Out’s reputation as a musician who isn’t afraid to stand still.