BY SAMANTHA MULLETT
We love a happy accident. For Ernest Greene, his post-graduate ambitions were dwelling in the University of Georgia library full-time; but after toying with a dodgy keyboard and an old Windows desktop, Greene released the Billboard chart-topping album, Within and Without, under the name, Washed Out. The easy breezy track, “Feel It All Around,” was chosen as the theme song for hipster-satirizing TV show Portlandia, and Sub Pop records snatched him up soon after.
You’d never guess Greene’s dream soundscape was created in his parent’s house – but after receiving critical acclaim, he’s upgraded to his own home studio in Athens, Georgia. Complete with a wall-sized American Flag, Greene recorded his third record, Paracosm, with a diverse range of instruments to reach for a more optimistic hum. In an interview with Pitchfork, he notes, “To me, [“It All Feels Right”] is about simple moments when you have a very deep sense that something special is happening, and that it’s fleeting and beautiful, and that it might not happen again. These moments are just as profound and worthy of writing about as depression or death or whatever other weighty ideas; there’s value in writing happy songs. “*
The chillwave connoisseur spreads the creative imagery of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien over nine tracks, with suitable literary annotations throughout. Although digitally derived, he experiments with abstract instruments such as the Novachord, a 500 lb. machine crafted in 1939 that “looks like an organ or the piano, but sounds like the future.”* Greene also integrates Indian percussion sounds and harps for more ear-soothing variety.
We recommend “Weightless” for an escape to fantasyland, but you can catch him live at MusicFestNW in Portland on September 6th. Also, for you SF fans, our friends over at Popscene will be showcasing Washed Out this Thursday at Rickshaw Stop for their big 17th Anniversary bash!
Check out our photos from Washed Out at Mezzanine in 2012.
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