Since bursting on the national scene in 2009 with a collection of songs recorded in his bedroom, Ernest Greene–aka Washed Out–has perfected a brand of blissed-out dance music. His songs oddly capture this era’s peculiarities, caught between a hazy past and an even murkier future. But beyond any trendiness, Washed Out’s albums serve a needed purpose: music to get really zoned out to. The early “chillwave” descriptor might be insulting, but it’s had staying power beyond anybody’s wildest dreams.
Greene has also earned a ton of imitators, so on his third album, Mister Mellow, he’s switching up the template a bit. Whereas in the past he’d coast on a few well-placed synth washes, songs like “Get Lost” feature dozens of disparate samples, triangulating some hidden connection between ambient, dance, hip-hop, and easy-listening. It’s fitting Greene released Mister Mellow on Stones Throw, the L.A. label that was the home to J Dilla’s collagist masterpieces a decade ago. But even with the added sonic busyness, Washed Out still drifts in its own time zone, past and future held at bay for a few blissful moments.
–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX