Washed Out - Paracosm

Ernest Greene’s stage name Washed Out first made waves in 2011 when his debut album Within and Without was released to much critical acclaim. Nearly exactly two years have passed and the Georgian native has served up Paracosm.

Just like his first outing, Greene’s new effort has garnered nearly exclusively positive reviews from critics since its recent release. It’s not hard to see why. For a chilled out, electronic release that is nothing short of eclectic and transformative, it is appealing and endearing from the very first listen.

Paracosm is one of those albums that is best consumed as one cohesive end-product making it hard to pick it apart and speak about individual songs. Just as several instruments make up a band, nine songs make up this one complete album.

If like this reviewer you had never heard the word paracosm before, according to the ever-brilliant Wikipedia, paracosm is: “a detailed imaginary world, or fantasy world, involving humans and/or animals, or perhaps even fantasy or alien creations”. Listening to the album; from the get go, you come to realise what an inspired choice of title it is.

Greene layers on thick imagery, widescreen soundscapes, layered instrumentals, carefully considered treatments topped off with soft yet soaring vocals from Greene himself.

Nearly every minute of Paracosm could be featured in any number of indie coming-of-age or slightly left-of-centre films, probably because the music already evokes similar imagery in the listener’s head.

Although it’s best to consume the record as a whole, if you do have to check out just one song, then lead single ‘It All Feels Right’ is a good one to start with and makes a good account of the album’s sound and aesthetic feel.

Washed Out’s Paracosm sees Greene developing even further as one of the preeminent electronic/chillwave artists in the world. Well worth checking out.

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