Washed Out returns with his heady blend of shoegaze, Balearic sounds, and R&B leanings. Ernest Greene has teamed up again with producer Ben H. Allen for his second full length, Paracosm. The album continues the trajectory set by its predecessor, Within And Without, however Greene seems intent to lift the veil of darkness and shed some light with his psychedelia. The sound is lush and warm, filled with plenty of reverb while Allen has made sure to preserve the low end. Even though much of the rhythm section was recorded live the record still knocks. This has provided Washed Out with a unique sound, one that sees Greene moving beyond the boundaries set by the short lived chillwave tag. There are human touches where there should be which gives Paracosm a real feeling of personality. Vocals wash in only to be rendered incomprehensible, providing yet another layer of texture. And that seems to be what Washed Out is about, what you feel and sense; not so much whether there is any great meaning there or not. However, the vibe is penetrated by sudden wafts of sunshine, subtle moments of brightness shining through the haze. Paracosm is one of those albums that grows with repeated listens.
- music label: Sub Pop 2013
reviewed by Michu Meszaros 08/2013