For those of you who still think “Washed Out” is just what you call taking acid while wearing white jeans after Labor Day, I’ve got news for you. Washed Out is also the name of a one-man Chillwave act from rural Georgia. His name is Ernest Greene, and he has a new video out for his excellent track “All I Know,” off his superb 2013 record Paracosm. If you’re like me, you don’t actually watch music videos, but just read the YouTube comments to help form your opinions about things. That’s how I found out that while the song is “So relaxing <3″ and “gnarly,” the video “is just…” and “sucks” and “screaming TRY HARD.”
Let’s be clear, the video never actually screams anything, but the commenters are half-right. The song is gnarly and relaxing. Ernest Greene knows how to use synths like nobody else. He doesn’t just make “sweaty summer anthems” and “late night dance pop,” he makes intricate, beautiful soundscapes. Ernest is top dog when it comes to making, well, ernest electropop.
But the commenters are wrong on the video. It’s more than “just…” and definitely doesn’t suck. I think viewers are missing the valuable learning opportunity that the music video, directed by Daniel Kragh-Jacobsen, provides. For example, here are a few things I learned from watching: Greene and Kragh-Jacobsen, under no circumstances, allow people with straight hair in their videos; a pillow fight is still an acceptable cinematic stand-in for an underage orgy; there’s a really bad drought across most of the country; and hipsters are really not good at baseball. Also, apparently all indie-pop videos are now exclusively about coming-of-age nostalgia and sponsored by Urban Outfitters. Watch it above.
Washed Out’s Paracosm is out now via Sub Pop.