Washed Out - Life Of Leisure (Mexican Summer)

The sound of the summer can be found on Washed Out's new EP, and it's a euphoria you can get lost in.

Released Jun 16th, 2010 via Mexican Summer / By Brendan Morgan
Washed Out - Life Of Leisure (Mexican Summer) Every year, there are a variety of musicians and bands eager to provide us music geeks and dull romantics with a summer soundtrack. And with all that goes on: the festivals, the travelling, the beer; it’s the optimum environment in which to release a memorable and lasting record.

Just a month away from the season of hedonism, Washed Out’s Life of Leisure takes this to the next degree. Using his own equipment, Earnest Greene recorded his debut while staying at his parents place in Georgia. The result is an example of the effect that time, isolation and nature has on creativity. Life of Leisure is a complete experience: a package of well devised mood music wrapped in a DIY charm. Written during the summer for the summer, its sense of escapism could not have been realised during the pressure of his current tour.

Each track blends effortlessly together as one. Under four minutes long, their simplistic structure may be a downside but, overall, with the impression that ‘Get Up’ and ‘Feel it All Around’ leave behind, nothing feels more natural than to play it again and again. Rehashing the techniques laid out in the three tracks before it, ‘Lately’ takes this simplicity into the mundane and is the only duff track on the EP. It’s promptly forgotten when ‘You’ll See It’, with its ethereal groove and resonating euphoria concludes the record.

The 80’s keyboard pop and shoegaze fuzz are easy to detect but bizarrely nobody (except Greene himself) mentioned the obvious disco vibe. From the pulsing electro thuds in the bass, to the sibilance in the vocal harmonies (identical to the silky harmonies of 10cc’s ‘I’m Not in Love’), right up to the album cover; it all simulates a swirling heady high like no other. Comforting yet awakening, like cool water on hot skin; we know how the girl on the cover feels.

Without loosing itself too much in nostalgia, Washed Out harps back to a familiar and colourful rave innocence while capturing a piece of the zeitgeist. Look no further, your summer soundtrack is here. Original and sonically stunning, it’s a rare sparkle of a record – one that that could illuminate Greene’s career or, in its bright intensity, blind him from doing anything this good again.