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CD review: Washed Out’s ‘Paracosm’

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Smith Galtney

Three stars

Paracosm Washed Out

When your work is saddled with a label as trite-sounding as “chillwave”—or, even worse, “glo-fi”—it must be tempting to thumb your nose at the indie blogosphere and release a follow-up that’s one part “reinvention” and three parts “f*ck you.” But Washed Out’s Ernest Greene is a pretty un-hostile dude. Even with the addition of live instrumentation, Paracosm still sounds like a slow-motion joyride through the sunny side of his brain.

Part of WO’s appeal is how Greene creates pop synergy that feels accidental, a result of flicking the wrong switch at the right time. But this time around, everything feels strikingly deliberate, even mature. “What’s it all about? That feeling when it all works out,” he sings in “It All Feels Right,” the opening cut. If things get a little spotty and hazy from then on, that’s alright. This is music by and for daydreamers.

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