Ernest Greene’s 2009 debut EP (under the pseudonym Washed Out), “Life of Leisure” oozes its intoxicating syrup out of the speakers and slowly saturates its environment with evocative, billowy, sun-baked synths and languid, blurred, yet harmoniously detached, vocals. *(Please pardon the prolixity, as my brain provides copious amounts of adjectives following intense episodes of rapid brain-cell depletion.)
Greene is a one-man band (albeit, not of the Abner Jay persuasion, but a basement maestro nonetheless) from rural Georgia. His recording studio is his parent’s house. He cut his first tracks on a cassette. Shiny records deals don’t interest him. He has an aversion to the outside world. He is the antitheses of “American Idol.” Greene started recording for fun, for an audience of one – himself. Once in a while, he would make a tape or two for a friend, but shied away from the attention. Some could say Greene errs on the side of the quixotic. More than likely, he simply enjoys the allure of exclusivity and finds comfort in his lavish dream world.
Let’s face it – many kids reach that traumatic moment in their young adult life, where for one reason or another, they are forced to move back in with their parents for what most hope is a relatively short period of time. Aside from achieving a new killstreak record in Call of Duty and fighting off depression, the large majority of these kids do not expect to accomplish much during this transient period. However, for Ernest Greene, this interlude yielded “Life of Leisure.”
In charismatic indie fashion, Greene drops heaps of nostalgia and intense feeling inside recycled 1980’s electro beats (and the best part is that he does so without all the nauseating hipster pretension). Never before have I seen the front cover of an album (and title) so aptly convey the contents of its package. It’s alluring. It’s inviting. It’s a warm buzz. It’s an old Polaroid. It’s…Washed Out.
Recommended listening when:
…driving home after dropping off your date.
…relaxing on the water at sunset.
…taking off in a plane going to some foreign country.
…looking at old photo albums.
“Feel It All Around” (Live)