Courtesy of the artist
The sweet, double-helix vocal harmonies of Washed Out's "Eyes Be Closed" eerily recall Simon and Garfunkel.
The sweet, double-helix vocal harmonies of Washed Out's "Eyes Be Closed" eerily recall Simon and Garfunkel. Courtesy of the artist
Song: "Eyes Be Closed"
Artist: Washed Out
CD: Within and Without
When Washed Out's Ernest Greene released a couple of homespun demos online last year, he unwittingly helped spawn a genre of electronica dubbed "chillwave" or "glo-fi." His unique take on electronic music — a fusion of disco and Balearic club beats, shoegaze-y melodies and samples from obscure European artists like Gary Low — couldn't have come at a better time in the pop landscape, when music fans can have access to whatever they want, whenever they want, and do whatever they want with it.
On his first full-length album, Within and Without, Greene steps out of his Georgia bedroom and into the studio. He teamed up with Animal Collective producer Ben Allen for these nine tracks, and Allen's help results in his most polished material yet. The standout, "Eyes Be Closed," is a woozy, five-minute jam with sumptuous synth melodies and double-helix vocal harmonies that eerily recall Simon and Garfunkel.
With his cleaned-up sound, Greene doesn't convey the wide-eyed wonder that inspired his earlier work, which he'd record late into the night at his parents' Georgia home while scouring the Internet for obscure samples. But if he's able to craft something as sprawling and hair-raising as this tune's midpoint, imagine what sort of sonic ecstasy he could create in the future.
This story originally ran on August 4, 2011.