on August 23, 2011
Just look at that tanned young couple on the cover art making furious love! Those rumpled, off-white sheets! Eggshell I think they're called in catalogues. A hint of beachy wood flooring if you look closely enough. A hint of shame in her closed eyes, but also resignation, as she holds him tight.
I think the font used for the sleeve is the EXACT SAME font Restoration Hardware uses for their $40 scented candles. I bet one is burning right now. "Vietnamese Plum" is probably the scent of the candle. The party has just ended. You weren't let back in, so she came with YOU. What now? She's in the car, right next to you, as you barrel through the too-quiet night on Lily Pond Lane, and Luke (again!) is passed out cold on the light leather seats...GPS flicked off, you know these turns, baby, and hey...maybe you're a little drunk yourself, sssshh we won't tell, 3 story hedges blocking the view from Martha Stewart's house, you can just see her flickering lights behind the foliage...open the window...man that breeze feels good.
isn't that Grey Gardens? Dude...Dude you awake? Get my 4G out. It's in my Jack Spade beach bag. Just press play.
Just...press play bro...
Groggy: What's this?
Within & Without...by...Washed Out.
Yea. Man it's for us. It's for dudes like us crankin' it out this weekend in Long Island. We'll be in Williamsburg tomorrow, after all that Long Island traffic, back to our sparkly new penthouse condos facing the East River, and our finance jobs, but for now, isn't this just perfect. Yea, it kinda is. The sea is in the air. The dirty laundry (Band of Outsiders, Caulfield Prep, Rag & Bone) scattered on the floor of the cabana. Records from the likes of Beach House, Delorean and Caribou... just seemed like...too complicated for right now, you know? Yea, I know, dude. We need this chill stuff tonight. Chillwave they call it, yea yea, and now I know why. Really? Yea, totally, that's what they call it. Man, there ain't nothing at all wrong with some guy somewhere writing out a soundtrack to our very lives tonight...the specificity of it all...Man, there ain't nothing wrong with specificity...
Ernest Greene is Washed Out's synthing pied piper, the dream pop glo fi wunderkind (from Georgia!) who figured out, sonically, how to have us all relax at an East Hampton spa and Cooper's Beach by his fuzzed-out, shimmering, and somewhat melodic take on things. The drums seem like nothing merely more than beating machines. Greene's voice is an echoing and intoning voice of a swami guru, the Wizard of Chillax, telling us where to put our luggage, and pointing us in the direction of the pool. The beats are guideposts, the synths are the stars in the sky.
The music is pretty and transporting. Greene has achieved something here. "Amor Fati" emerges from this glassy miasma as an actual radio-friendly single. The song is lovely--as if both Seal and Enigma bound forces in 1996 and took a time travel machine together backwards through shoegaze, then forward through the brief Balearic craze of 4 years ago, and then wound up here.
"Call it Off" is my second favorite song on the album (available only as a Bonus Track on certain digital-only editions) because it boasts some fine beats, tickling synths, and Greene's mindless, mirthful intoning. It's yoga music if yogis went to clubs. Do they?
Take a bath and play this record. You won't be disappointed. On your drive back from The Hamptons...play it...with the tinted car windows open, and a fresh breeze flying through your hair. And later that night, when all is quiet and well, and that plum scented candle burns and burns, put on Within and Without by Washed Out and realize, for the first time, that you're not friends anymore. You're friends with benefits.