2010 was a strange era in Music as it was truly the time where the Internet was recognised as a solid platform for literally anyone to release music and have it heard. It was around the time that the “Vapour Wave” trend washed ashore, and I’ll always have Washed Out pegged down as the main contributor of that. But you know what they always say: if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down. Fortunately Washed Out’s new album is titled Mister Mellow, so there’s no need to flush today.
It’s been nearly a decade since the release of Washed Out’s Life of Leisure, and in that time it seems the band have settled into a sound that’s much straight forward than their debut. Mister Mellow kicks off with ‘Burn Out Blues’ which sees the band flood the airwaves with their traditional beachy-sounds and wave patterns, but accompany it with a solid set of basslines, percussion and drums to give it a real nice off-kilter groove.
These off-kilter grooves stick around as ‘Floating By’ delivers a subtle beat that aims straight for the hips, while ‘Hard to Say Goodbye’ provides an anthem for the entire body. It’s a testament to Washed Out for being able to combine these elements together to produce something that provides the traditional day out in the sunshine haze as well as the beats and hooks to dance into the night. Particular tracks such as ‘Get Lost’ provides the perfect introduction into the night sky as it’s bold instrumental delivers all of the tools needed to extend a day out into a good night too.
Mister Mellow is a perfect accompaniment to the summer. Washed Out still have the ability to add a touch of sunshine to their music and fortunately the heat continues throughout this new record. It retains all of the traits that made them huge in the Life of Leisure years but also comes packed with a new found desire to pack their atmospheres with a little bit of substance too, making for an entertaining listen throughout.