Review: Washed Out - Mister Mellow (Stones Throw). Staying true to his roots, Ernest Green Aka - Washed Out is flexing his sonic pallete
Posted: 5 July 2017 Words: Bianca Eddleston
Staying true to his roots, Ernest Greene Aka - Washed Out is flexing his sonic palette into a Jazzy Tropicana with a more focused Funk groove than previous offerings
Chillwave pioneer Washed Out is back with his third studio album, 'Mister Mellow'. The aptly named - 'Mister Mellow' pre-empts any comment on the forefather of chillwave becoming a parody of himself. The 30 minute long LP does enough to keep Greene out of pastiche territory as he tiptoes his way into masterful experimentation.
Washed Out burst onto the scene in 2009 with hipster hit - ‘Feel it All Around’. Paving the way for a host of Lo-Fi bedroom producers, who tinkered with 80's synths and dreamy aesthetics. Chillwave as a genre peaked in 2010 after the famous Chillwave backlash, artists under this genre began to dislike being labelled as such.
Since then most of the acts that came out of it have either disappeared or evolved into something else. Washed Out has managed to stay distinctly Washed Out-Esq in his evolution and has done enough to carve out his own path. Greene's Spotify play count speaks for itself.
Throughout ‘Mister Mellow’, Greene's vocals have a dreamy and floaty aesthetic as usual. However, the music has a bit more drive and the composition is punchier. There are layered crisp percussions and 90's IDM moments as well as some psychedelic capriciousness. The usual trippy psychedelic swirls have more attack and less decay as they are smattered all over the LP. Dipping in and out of intensity at moments like “Floating By” as they come into full swing. There is a hypnotic Cafe Del Mar quality to this circular track as it blends Ambient and Psychedelia via Tropicana.
The second single from the album - 'Hard to Say Goodbye' is a great illustration of the groovier, more direct approach Greene uses on ‘Mister Mellow’. 'Get Lost' with its crisp percussion takes a similar direction with its insistent keys and smorgasbord of jazzy-saxy samples.
In other moments on the album, Greene drifts off into late 60’s psychedelic peripheries. Such as on 'Down and Out' with its reverse tape effect instrumentation and then on into ‘Intsant Calm’ with its effected chimes and sitars. It is poignant that ‘Million Miles Away’ ends the album with Washed Out sounding exactly the opposite, as this song is where Greene most sounds like himself from previous albums and extended plays.
'Mister Mellow' is packaged as a visual album and comes with a dvd. Watch the amazing part animated video for 'Get Lost' below.
Washed out Tour dates.