Published Jul 06, 2011A picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of Washed Out's new album cover, it's actually worth seven: "Is This the Most Satisfying Sex Position?" That was the headline that accompanied the same photo that graces the Atlanta, GA act's debut album when it recently appeared in an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.
First reported by Pitchfork not long after the cover for Within and Without was revealed by the label Sub Pop, Washed Out mastermind Ernest Greene says he purchased the image believing he had exclusive rights to it.
"That was highly unfortunate and I was pretty upset about it," he tells Exclaim! "We licensed the image from the photographer Martien Mulder from New York. I had seen the image in this avant-garde photography magazine while we were on tour in Australia and it was just an ad for one of her exhibitions. I loved it for a lot of different reasons. When we licensed it we thought we had exclusive rights to it and then a month later she licensed it again to Cosmopolitan."
Greene says seeing the photo used in an article on sexual positions completely changed his perspective for the worse. "It was pretty disappointing, mainly because it undercut all of my ideas about what the image represented and what the album represented," he says. "To me it wasn't sexual at all and it wasn't supposed to be provocative. To me, it was just this very intimate moment and that's the way I think about the record."
Despite the disappointment, Greene stuck with the image for Within and Without, which will be released on July 12 via Sub Pop.