News: Washed Out returns with sophomore album ‘Paracosm’ – out Friday 9th August!
The music recorded by Ernest Greene as Washed Out has been nothing if not dreamy, but for his second full-length, he’s taken the idea of letting your mind wander to another state a huge leap further. On ‘Paracosm’, due out Friday 9th August on Pod | Inertia, the Georgia-based musician explores the album’s namesake phenomenon, where people create detailed imaginary worlds.
The idea of escaping is all over Paracosm’s lyrics, and it’s also the main thrust behind the music, which finds Greene distancing himself from the modes and methods that informed Washed Out’s previous recordings. Greene has made a conscious decision to expand his sonic palette, which resulted in the employment of more than 50 different instruments, the most significant of which turned out to be old keyboards like the Mellotron, Chamberlin, Novatron, and Optigan. Made up of prerecorded sounds with individual notes sampled for each key of the chromatic scale, these relics allowed Greene to use his sampling expertise while also offering the flexibility to explore new creative avenues.
“I’ve grown as a songwriter to the point where I want to have more involved arrangements, and that’s really hard to do with sampling,” says Greene. “The sounds have a very worn, distressed quality about them, much like an old sample. Pretty much all the keyboard sounds, and strings and harps and vibraphones—all of that comes from these old machines.”
Listeners will be immediately struck by Paracosm’s seamless melding of organic and synthetic sounds, which are related to Washed Out’s past but also find Greene redefining his trademark dreaminess. The live drums, bass, and guitar were recorded at Maze Studios with producer Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Deerhunter, Gnarls Barkley), who also worked on Greene’s last album ‘Within And Without’. Collectively, they help take the new material to another level—specifically a place where, despite the vintage instruments and Greene’s throwback tendencies, everything feels like it was made right here and now.
It also has a more human quality to it than most people are probably used to hearing on an electronic album. Take for instance, the sunny, laid-back groove of the appropriately titled “Great Escape” (“All I need is the simple life / make believe the world has vanished around us”) and first single “It All Feels Right,” which is as wonderfully hypnotic as anything in Washed Out’s discography, yet uses an almost tropical feel to get there.
With its gorgeous execution and uplifting attitude, ‘Paracosm’ is primed to be this year’s summer record that gets you through the winter. And it promises to do what its name suggests; take listeners to another, better, world.
Paracosm is due out August 7th on Pod/Inertia