Washed Out deliver an instant classic of a chill-out album

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Every now and then a debut album comes along by an act that appears to have come from the heavens, the music as much at home in cool cafés and lizard lounges the world over as on the home stereo (or indeed, trusty MP3 headset). Examples that spring to mind are Air’s ‘Moon Safari’, Alpinestars’ ‘White Noise’, Gotye’s ‘Board Face’, and Lemon Jelly’s ‘KY’. Eventually said artists become regulars on cool chill-out compilations and although they never grow too big for their boots, remain ingrained in the minds of the most hard-nosed critics’ and music connoisseurs’ minds as forever credible.

So here’s another one for hip music media folk and the cred-music-listening market to keep their ears out for: Washed Out’s ‘Within And Without’. From the very first strains of the album’s opener ‘Eyes Be Closed’ the listener is taken on an ethereal trip across proverbial blue skies and psychedelic soundscapes. Really, Washed Out consists of one main man by the name of Ernest Greene, and whether or not the guy entered the music scene as self-fulfilling prophecy (eager and eco-conscious sounding), his name ties in nicely with the gorgeous ambient music.

Filtered vocals journey over mesmerising synth loops and while some might argue that this brand of enviro-pop is nothing new (indeed, we’ve heard a bit of it with all of the aforementioned artists), it’s release right now is more pertinent than ever, when we all need to take time out from the chaos of modern living, if only three blissful minutes at a time.

‘Within and Without’ is out through Sub Pop / Inertia.