Washed Out 11.10.17

Chillwave may be dead and gone, but Ernest Greene helped pioneer a feeling that still haunts the halls of indie pop. It’s certainly a feeling more than a sound: the summer of 2009 Greene, under the name Washed Out, released a song that titled “Feel It All Around,” which would become the anthem for a “non-genre.” Like the tracks that would follow it, Greene’s sound consisted of dreamy pieces of  hypnagogic pop that evoke a memory of a memory of sitting on a beach, not completely sober. Washed Out would also see chillwave out the door with his debut album, appropriately titled Within and Withoutthe genre’s swan song and one of its most intimate works. Greene is very aware of the the genre’s trendyness: on the cover of his third album, Mister Mellow, a hat that says chillwave with a crown over it sits among a mess of smiley faces, flowers, and other assorted items. The terminally chill genre, a response to the worries of almost a decade ago, has gotten strung out. Mister Mellow–conceived as a psychedelic visual album and taking musical cues from genres as diverse as house music and jazz–is Washed Out’s response to the anxiety of 2017.

Harold Urteaga

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