If you didn’t know better, you might think Athens, Georgia was just another ordinary college town. But one look at the town’s musical history will have you doing a double take. The B-52s. R.E.M. Drive-By Truckers. Even LouFest 2011 alums Deerhunter were based in Athens for a while. This year, we’ll be welcoming another great artist from the Classic City to Forest Park — the always entrancing Washed Out.
The genius behind the project is Ernest Greene, who started it when he graduated from the University of Georgia and moved back in with his parents in the small town of Perry. The High Times and Life of Leisure followed, just in time to kickstart the chillwave trend. In 2011, he teamed up with Animal Collective producer Ben H. Allen for his first full-length, the critically acclaimed Within and Without. Pitchfork gave the album a Best New Music rating and raved that Greene “continues to investigate a sound on his own hushed, ambitious terms.” Of course, that was just the tip of the iceberg…
For last year’s Paracosm, Green moved away from the lo-fi, sample-based songwriting of his previous work and used over seventy different instruments to make a more lush, atmospheric record. By busting out some early electronic instruments like the Mellotron and Novachord and creating field recordings of nature sounds and friends having conversations, he perfected the album’s hazy summertime vibe.
It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting into Washed Out or have been a fan since he was putting out EPs recorded in his bedroom, Paracosm is definitely worth a listen. Give it a spin on Spotify and hear it live this September at LouFest.