It’s surprising to hear such an expansive sound from a single individual, but Washed Out, the stage name of Ernest Greene, has accomplished such a task with his dreamy debut album, Within and Without.  Released on July 12, 2011, Within and Without showcases Greene’s hauntingly filtered vocals and the looping of soothing, sunshine-infused melodies which makes this album a standout of the lo-fi genre.

Washed Out uses complex beats and tropical falsetto synth pop sounds to create an exotic, adventurous feel to the album.  Greene’s mellow, calming voice keeps each track grounded no matter how unique the beats or melodies become.  The seeping vocals and flush melodies can make songs like Eyes Be Closed and Echoes feel brimming and spacious while making tracks like You and I and Before sound despondent and secluded.

Track Breakdown:

Eyes Be Closed has a sweeping sound which seems to defy gravity.  The momentum builds throughout the track due to the  strong chorus and layered synthetics.

Amor Fati (Latin for Love of Fate) feels reminiscent due to the clouded, fuzzy vocals.  There is an underlying sincerity to this song which breaks through the colder, electronic tones thanks to the simple sound of the synthesized horns and pulsing piano.

Far Away blends a twinkling dreaminess with Greene’s isolated, heartbroken lyrics, creating an overall sense of desperation and loneliness.  You said no words as you walked past, You said it was alright/You left your world exposed, long gone, You left your voice inside.

When & Where:

While buried in a creaky chair sinking into the sand at the beach, let this album be the soundtrack to the sunset far off in the horizontal distance.  With and Without is a tranquilizing album and should match a moment equally calm and contemplative.

Eyes Be Closed:

Amor Fati:

Far Away:

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