Washed Out isn’t a band, but one man: Georgia-based Ernest Greene, who’s created an enticing mix of sounds on “Paracosm,” his second album for Sub Pop. A “paracosm” is defined as “a detailed imaginary world.” It’s an appropriate title choice for a record whose creation was rooted in an escape from the real world; the album was conceived and mostly recorded during a six-month period when Greene left the big city for a small home outside of Athens, Ga. (some recording was also done in Atlanta).
The world Greene conjured up in his more isolated environment is rooted in the organic realm (the album opens with the sound of birds chirping), but quickly melts into the kind of densely layered soundscape inevitably described as “dreamy” or “lush.” Though Greene added 50 different instruments to the mix, it never sounds overly busy or cluttered. Instead, the swirl of keyboards, harp, guitars, pulsating drumbeats, and Greene’s own languid voice are blended together to create an intoxicating musical experience that’s both soothing and invigorating.
Washed Out will appear Aug. 31 at Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival.