Amor Fati - Washed Out - Within and Without (2011, Sub Pop)
Atlanta-based singer-songwriter Washed Out is one of the forefathers of the whole chillwave/glo-fi movement, but although he’s released a number of successful EPs and singles, he’s only just got around to releasing his debut full length album now. It’s not a bad time though, there’s been a quite noticeable resurgence in the scene as of late, with artists such Memory Tapes, Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi all popping up again.
Within and Without is an album full of gauzy synths, reverbey vocals and slightly muffled guitars; in other words, it’s pretty much archetypal chillwave. And it’s chillwave done very well. The only issue I have with the album is it can be just a bit too chillwavey at times, and because of this I sometimes find myself glossing over the music, as it can all sound quite similar on the surface. But once you push past that hazy barrier, it really is a beautifully constructed, subtle album, with a lot more going on than just a surface listen will reveal.
So I guess it works on two levels. One one level, I guess it’s just good summery background music for a make-out session or a road trip to the beach, but if you give the album a bit more of a concentrated listen it will really pay off.