I fell in love with Washed Out the minute it hit my ears in what seems like forever ago, but was only back in 2009, when Earnest Greene aka Washed Out released his first EP. He hasn’t made a bad song since as they have slowly leaked over the last year or so, and now it’s finally here, his debut LP, Within Without. Definitely a more complete sound for Greene, now on sub-pop, he has truly hit his stride with this album. Some would call it downtempo, chillwave, etc, but it’s something more than that. Sampling, synths, chill vocal harmonies.  Cool as ice but still very warm sounding.  Reminds me of the first time I heard Portishead – not because they sound alike, but because both Portishead and this LP by Washed Out sounded like nothing like I had heard anywhere else before.  Can an album be a soundtrack for many different things all at once? I think it would be completely appropriate to (in no particular order):

a: Dance to at a club

b: Sip a $20 martini illuminated by swanky mood lighting

c: do the no pants dance with your favorite dance partner

d: put on in your headphones on a long train ride home from God knows where

e: walk through some science museum exhibit that smells like metal and electricity

The end answer of course is f: all of the above.  I hate doing this but I don’t see how I could possibly love an album more than this when 2011 comes to a close.  That is saying a lot for a year that has already seen me listen to the new Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, and TV On The Radio albums a total of over 50 times front to back.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this soundtrack to your life for 2011.

MP3: Washed Out – Within and Without

Download Within and Without here

Learn more about Washed Out here