the gang gets super chill …
This week the gang at the Singles Party goes a bit outside the box. Normally we stay within the realm of popular music featuring artists that are pretty much on everyone’s radar. This week we look at Washed Out, one of the all-stars of the “chillwave” movement. Let’s see if the gang digs the good vibrations of Ernest Green (the mastermind of Washed Out) or we have more frigid feelings about this chillwave cut.
Nick Porcaro: The lead off single to Washed Out’s second LP, “It All Feels Right” immediately evokes that hazy, subtly romantic feeling of a mid-summer evening. It is here where the track succeeds: waves of warm reverb, slight reggae guitar rhythms and woozy vocals drown the listener in a sense of calm. But the subtle-yet-jarring tempo change between verses and the uninspired vocal melodies mar this track’s execution just enough to cast it in mediocrity. Verdict: one and done.
Lauren Stern: As someone who has been listening to Washed Out for a few years, their new single “It All Feels Right” doesn’t surprise me. Like some of it’s predecessors it’s hazy, psychedelic, spacey and just a damn feel-good tune. I always come out of listening to them feeling like everything is beautiful and this song’s effect was no different. Judging from this, it seems that the new music is certainly going to be a treat, and I absolutely can’t wait to hear their new LP. Verdict: Add to Playlist
Jason Stives: Washed Out’s latest track “It Feels Alright” really rests its title on your hopes for a laid back coasting through the song. The track starts out genuinely mesmerizing with trembling vocals, a drifting melody that mashes well with its rather sunshine texture. But repetition holds a bit of a grudge against this attempted splash of sunshine falling greatly into a pattern that can easily be identified by the two minute mark. You know, the one normally reserved for a bridge, which comes and gos without any real notice. It’s definitely a track that develops flesh in the early going and really feels like something made for this time of year let alone made for the man himself but it never lifts itself beyond a complete first listen. This is kind of a shame because it’s not a song that doesn’t expand as it goes on, in fact, it tries numerous techniques as it goes on but that can only do so much. Verdict: One and Done
Jason Kundrath: As a fan of Washed Out’s previous releases – both the Life of Leisure EP and the Within & Without LP – this latest track from their forthcoming new album hits the pleasure center rather directly. It has that slightly muted, syrupy feel. Dreamy but equipped with enough bounce to keep you awake. “It All Feels Right” boasts some pronounced organic instrumentation in the drums and the lilting acoustic guitar, upstroking in a slightly reggae feel. With all due respect to chief songwriter Ernest Greene – I don’t hold him to the same exacting standards to which I hold traditional pop songwriters. Sure, “It All Feels Right” is very simple. And the one part is oddly slower than the rest of the song. I don’t care too much. Personally, Washed Out is more about the feel. It’s style over substance, and when it comes to chillwave, I think that might be a requirement. Verdict: Add to the playlist
Kelly Gonsalves: This is an airy little piece, full of those carefree, feel-good feelings of complete and utter non-sobriety. In that regard, the song definitely has its strong points and definitely acts as a good mood-setter for activities of that nature. Very tropical, too. The only major hiccup are some notably awkward transitions between the verses and the chorus, but other than that, I’m a fan of the dizzy, everywhere-at-once composition of the instrumentation. Overall the song accomplishes what it sets out to do but doesn’t really break much out of the let’s-get-high-out-of-our-minds-and-give-no-shits chill music mold. There’s nothing overly offensive about the execution of this piece, but I don’t know if I’d spend 99 cents on it. Unless you’re killing for a new song to light up to, you can afford to pass on this one. Verdict: One and Done
Bill Bodkin: I’m a newbie to the world of chillwave, so to others Washed Out’s “It All Feels Right” might seem like a bit tired, bit whatevs. However, to me, it’s this crazy new discovery. It’s this psychedelic trip through the Elysian Fields, as if I were tripping to the fantastic with the latter day Beatles dressed in their Sgt. Pepper gear. Basically, I loved the hell out of this sound because, to me, it’s so different, so intoxicating that I gotta add this to my playlist. Verdict: Add to playlist.
Final Verdict: We are split! Lauren, Jay Kundrath and Bill Bodkin are for while Jason Stives, Kelly and Nick are against. So … listener beware. When it comes to this track you’re either going to be drawn in by Washed Out’s psychedelia or you’re going to be completed underwhelmed. Your fate is in your musical hands now.