Yesterday saw the official release of Washed Out’s newest musical voyage, aptly titled ‘Mister Mellow’, released on Stones Throw Records. A long-anticipated release for many fans of Ernest Greene, the mastermind and founder at the vanguard of the project. The album is a fairly short-lived event which just about spans half an hour. Luckily, however, Greene takes full advantage of the seemingly limited amount of time and manages to produce an incredibly sophisticated piece of art which conquers not only the sonic field but also the aesthetic field due to the high level of organic soundscapes placed throughout the album. There’s eleven songs to be found on the album yet only a few of them could be considered actual ‘songs’, as a lot of the pieces consist of transient interludes from one piece to the next. Musically it is somewhat of an ethereal sonic experience which gives full attention to vast layering of sampled instrumentation. There’s no leading instrument to provide melodic content on this album but rather a nice partnership between each short-lived snippet to the next. Tracks such as ‘Burn Out Blues’ showcase hip-hop influenced rhythms in juxtaposition with dreamlike vocals whereas ‘Hard to Say Goodbye’ has a quasi-trance feel to it albeit with a highly polished chorus with strings. ‘Get Lost’ is the lead single which was released on May 25, although surprisingly so it probably isn’t the most accessible number due to its focusing on polyrhythmic interplay lead by driving piano chords. All of the songs flow seamlessly into one another which in turn allows the more minimalist, non-melodic sections to compliment the melodic ones. Although it isn’t a ground-breaking album it still manages to thrive on a basis of high concepts and ambition which will no doubt be of interest to experimental music fanatics.
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