Monday, April 6, 2015

Washed Out - Life of Leisure 2009

Originally I had planned on doing a 2 week mini discography run up with a particular group leading to Record Store Day.  Then, this happened.  One of the most rewarding things about collecting records is the hunt.  Finding a random record store and spending some time going through racks, boxes and bins waiting for a record to find you is what it's all about.  Sure, these days the "hip" thing to do - go to a record store and buy the latest and greatest, or the most "premium" version of a classic album that you can afford just to say you got the reissue of a 200 gram blue vinyl copy of whatever it is.  There are the "flippers" that generally come out in droves on RSD to snatch up limited issues of great fairly rare reissues of an album, only to sell it on eBay or Discogs for a profit.  Personally, nobody's wrong here so long as you're buying a great album from a local record store.  You're either in it for the fun, or in it for the money.  Virtually every record I own was either found or given to me, and every record I own is something I'm going to play the hell out of because I like it.  One of the cheapest records I ever bought, (.99) is worth more to me than someones original 1968 recording of the Beatles White album.  (Seriously, that fucker in great condition depending on where it was pressed is well over $10,000!)

All that to say that this weeks change up has more to do with exactly my point.  I lucked into an awesome find that I couldn't deny.  A customer came into my store fresh from Newbury Comics with a fist full of records, one of which he didn't even want or need so I made a deal for $5 with him.  That Album, 2009's Life Of Leisure from Washed Out.

I was turned on to Washed Out from Sirius Chill way back in 2010 just before they released their first LP in 2011.  They came in the middle of the "Chillwave" movement which was really the downside of Trip-Hip from the 90's.  Chillwave as a sound is simply more electronic with heavy synth and to a degree elements of funk.  Life Of Leisure is the bands' 2nd EP, and it's definitely best described as downtempo-electro-funk.  As a group, Washed Out is often compared to Neon Indian, which if you listen to them both, you can kinda see it, but they're not really close.  Early Washed Out is a lot closer to Daft Punk than anything else.  Where Neon Indian is much more up beat and leaning much more toward electronic rock, (synth-pop?), Washed Out took the lounge route and stayed closer to airy pure chill sounds.  Actually, less sound and noise and a lot more music.

So, as I hinted, for those in the know, I said I was going all Portlandia on everyone this week.  So to anyone that's ever seen an episode of Portlandia not only does it star Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, but the intro to the show is Washed Out's lead single from this EP, Feel it All Around.

Feel it All Around

The entire 6 song EP has nothing but replayability.  From the break beat first song, Get Up to the on the low funk of Lately and finishing with an ever airy, You'll See It, this album is production perfect to be your soundtrack to that drive you take on a nice day somewhere.  If you liked anything from Daft Punk's latest album, Random Access Memories, then you'll love every bit of this EP.  If you're a fan of Toro Y Moi and or Neon Indian, you'll really love this group.

If you can find this EP somewhere, it was reissued fairly recently on virgin vinyl with an accompaning download code for the mp3 version with a bonus album.  It can be had between $9 and $15.  Run and own this.  Trust me.

Next Week: Let's do some Jazz

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