Washed Out, indie songwriter Ernest Greene’s laptop-rock persona, is part of the momentary stylistic sensation chillwave. Greene was able to parlay a pair of much-blogged-about EPs into last year’s Sub Pop debut, Within and Without. The music blends the hypnotic dancefloor pulse of trancey chill-out music with gauzy melodic swirls of synth and languid somnambulant manners suggestive of psychedelic dream pop. The intents are heady, groove-centric, and sometimes go on long past when you’re ready for it to stop. During the time between his EPs and the debut, the style seems to have crested and receded, in part because its progenitors immediately pursued new directions. Many shed the hazy lo-fi thrum that generally shrouded the music. That was Greene’s approach: forging a debut whose lush production overshadows its slight melodic charms. Its billowy, watercolor shimmer is pretty but it’s not distinctive enough to surmount dance music’s inherently disposable nature. There’s enough intrigue in the cinematic orchestration of tracks like “Far Away” to believe that with stronger hooks Greene might get his groove back, but as much heat as he was generating two years ago, the calendar’s turned. Can he reclaim the spotlight without the style-of-the-week boost?
Price: $16, $14 (adv.)