Published Aug 06, 2013As Washed Out's Ernest Greene prepares for the release of his second full-length for Sub Pop, Paracosm, next week, the Georgia-born musician is looking forward to unveiling a more psychedelic, less dance-focused sound than was found on his debut, and you can listen to that sonic shift for yourself now by streaming the album over here on Exclaim.ca.
"The psychedelic influence comes from a lot of the instruments that I was using," explains Greene in an Exclaim! interview. "A lot of the early Washed Out material was done on a couple of synthesizers that did most of the work, but that's the great thing about synths — you can recreate sounds or make an entire record with just one piece of gear. I was a bit tired of that, though. I wanted to try newer sounds, more traditional stuff. That just naturally led to the more psychedelic side of things."
For Greene, Paracosm marks a sonic step forward for the musician, who's broadened his palette this time around with guitars, too.
"When I planned this record, I couldn't wait to explore new things," he gushes. "I hadn't played the guitar in years, and I'm deep into that world now, doing research on the internet about these obscure effects pedals and stuff."
But Paracosm isn't a "complete 180," according to Greene, who asserts that "I want to always have a connection to what I've done in the past." As such, the new album revisits and sharpens its focus on a theme that has long fascinated Greene: memory.
"In some ways," he says, "I feel like I've always dabbled in nostalgia. It's just what I do; it comes naturally. The types of melodies I tend to write kind of have this bittersweet quality; they're meant to be uplifting, but kind of have this melancholy vibe to it. With this record, I zeroed in a little bit, conceptually. It's a little more detailed. It's hitting the same buttons, but I was choosing sounds based on certain associations that I had that played into the themes I was doing.
"One of the big themes of the record is the power of dreams and the power of imagination. The one sound I think of when I think about dreaming is the harp glissando, which is this really atmospheric run up and down the scale that's really dreamy. So, that sound is all over the record, and kind of starts the record. It's meant to kind of catch on that association with dreaming; I hope people pick up on that."
Pick up on it now by streaming the entirety of Paracosm over here. Then pick up the album courtesy of Sub Pop on August 13.