in Review

Within and Without You

Washed Out – Within and Without

I’ve been listening to Within and Without by Washed Out for the past few months and it’s probably one of my favorites of the year. That means I should probably write something about it. So, here I am, writing about music again. It feels… uncomfortable. Not just because I haven’t done it in a while, but because Washed Out’s genre, chillwave, is one that is designed not to inspire. It’s the minimalistic music of the recession-era, or at least that’s what Wikipedia tells me.

Wikipedia tells me some other perplexing things. It tells me chillwave music is meant to be danced to, but frankly the idea of a chillwave dance is ghastly. It also tells me Panda Bear is basically the father of the genre and he has a new album out this year too, called Tomboy. But, while I recognize the similarities between Panda Bear and Washed Out and fully understand how people could called Washed Out derivative, it’s Within and Without that really stuck with me this year, not Tomboy.

As I think music like this probably should, Within and Without has a very clean sound to it. Most every song starts simple and builds up. That’s a really generic sentence, but I’m leaving it in. At times I was reminded of Animal Collective or Beach House as I listened to these carefully arranged electronic sounds overcome me. And while certainly a few tracks stood out to me, I really feel the album is best taken as a whole. It’s super pleasant to listen to, one of my favorites for driving or working. That’s all I want out of music, most of the time. Something pleasant to keep me company in the world.

Favorite Tracks: “Eyes Be Closed,” “Before,” “A Dedication”