August 30, 2017
Washed Out played Brooklyn Steel
Ernest Greene's latest record, Mister Mellow, is his first for Stones Throw, and finds the artists moving from chilled-out tropical vibes to lush, textured grooves. On a chilling August night, he brought his new record to life at Brooklyn Steel.
At the turn of the decade, chillwave was hitting its peak as artists like Neon Indian, Toro Y Moi, and Washed Out reached the pinnacle of blog worship as one of the next big things in music. As the economic recession really began to make its presence known, an ode to recycled, bedroom pop from the 80s began to feel a resurgence. In tough monetary times, there was a certain pleasure in the idea of home scale, self-made music that seemed to downplay the importance of a large studio budget and felt more in-line with the DIY nature of indie-rock. Nearly a decade later, the idea of chillwave seems like just another layer of nostalgia, but Washed Out's recent release continues to enrich his sound without compromising the essence of his sonic plateau. Releasing the new record on Stones Throw also adds to the wonderful elements of Greene's progressed work. Recalling the ideas of J Dilla and Madlib, the newer tunes from Washed Out feel much more collage based than the sun drenched steel drums of Within and Without and Paracosm. Watching Greene onstage also feels like a new awakening for the artist. From watching him open for Beach House nearly a decade ago to witnessing his newest creation come to life, the evolution of the project has been rather inspirational. Throughout his set, Greene and company dropped a new stunning and dazzling visual display for each track that not only heightened the song, but made for an all out mesmerizing production. After years of scratching the surface and working his way up festival posters, seeing a fully actualized performance from Greene felt like a career defining moment. The visuals weren't simply just an aspect of the show, but a prime feature that demonstrated the Greene approaches his work in ways beyond his musical palette. Watching him drop older tracks in addition to his new work made his overall sound feel that much more cohesive and impressive. His ability to draw in a crowd was also next to none. For a sound that so frequently felt dated even in its prime, it's a marvelous surprise and delight to see Washed Out not only outlast expectations but continue to raise the bar as well.