Review: “Face Up” – Washed Out

Washed Out -
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Genre: Synth Pop, Dream Pop, Chillwave

With the overarching postmodern thought, it seems that irony taints everything with its cynicism.  Sentiment is something that we are lacking, and something that we crave. Yet most artists today are heavy handed in their use of irony.

In an interview American writer David Foster Wallace talks about the effects of postmodern thought on artists, and his hope that this oppressive trend will come to a close:

“Postmodern irony and cynicism become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. There’s some great essay somewhere that has a line about irony being the song of the prisoner who’s come to love his cage.”

Ernest Green breaks free from the bondage of irony and starts a trend of sentimentalism with his new single “Face Up.” We find relief from cynicism in this soothing new track.  Although the song evokes nostalgic sounds, it does not step over the line into a postmodern self-conscious meta pop culture.

The song was produced for the Adult Swim Single Series, an ironic nighttime programming, and yet the song is anything but ironic. This song is not a product of postmodern irreverence, instead the track goes back to the basics with its smooth “Take My Breath Away,” inspired synth and light shoegazy vocals. Ernest Green elaborated on the sentimental nature of this song to Stone Throw Records, “This song was the first thing I wrote post-Mister Mellow and it contains none of the sample-driven craziness or detached irony found in that era. Instead it’s a simple song with a simple sentiment.”

Far removed removed from last year’s “Mister Mellow,” this fresh new single restores my hope for dream pop.  Thank you Ernest, we need more simple songs with simple sentiment.

Watch a “The problem with irony” here to learn more about the issue of irony in pop culture.

Songs you might like:

  • “For Phoebe Still A Baby”- Cocteau Twins
  • “Colored Emotions”-  Night Moves
  • “Pretty Haze” – Summer Heart
  • “Cassie(Won’t You Be My Doll)”- Part Time

Artists you might like: Craft Spells, Moses, Inner Wave, Part Time, TV Girl, Operators, Blouse, Still Corners, Night Moves, El Ultimo Vecino, Von Sell, Drab Majesty, Lost Tapes, Keep Shelly in Athens

Sources:

David Foster Wallace, in interview with Larry McCaffery, in “A Conversation with David Foster Wallace,” The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Vol. 13 (Summer 1993): 147.

Schoder , Will, director. The Problem with Irony The Problem with Irony, YouTube, 6 Oct. 2016, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2doZROwdte4.

Stream. “Washed Out – ‘Face Up’ | Stones Throw Records.” Stones Throw, 11 May 2018, http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2018/05/washed-out-face-up.

Greetings earthlings, let’s solve a mystery

First post! I’ve been thinking about starting a music blog since college, but I was always too intimidated by the many amazing music blogs out there.  My goal is to make this page easily accessible, with enjoyable playlists and new music. In addition to new music, I want to bring attention to some older music that is still relevant.

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Lets begin with a little mystery, a music mystery.  This mystery is something that I’ve been trying to solve for a couple years, ever since this artist blessed my ears with his music.

In grad school circa 2014, I stumbled upon an artist named “Dylan Hill,” on one of my then go to music blogs, “Indie Shuffle.” This Melbourne artist track listings were bare, only four songs.  But those four songs made an impression on me. I’d never heard melodies so beautiful, so well composed, the syncopation filled me with faith for the electronic music industry. The production was so crisp and the melodies had a driving force behind them that made you want to sway to the beat forever. His brand of ambient electronica was so perfectly executed, I could not understand how more people didn’t know about him.  I could not get enough.  I listened to “She Fell,” and “The Fall,” on a nonstop loop.  I even went so far as to find Dylan’s FB, add him, and tell him how much I loved and appreciated his music.  To my surprise he replied with great thanks. We chatted a bit more about mundane things.  I continued to listen to his music  and I  anxiously anticipated more music.

Then all of a sudden Dylan disappeared. Disappeared from the internet.  One day I went to his soundcloud page, and it was gone.  I scoured the internet for any signs of him or his songs, songs I felt I could not live without, songs I should have downloaded. All I could find were old posts from music blogs, with the tracks disabled and non existent. This is his only trace of his on the black hole of the internet:

https://www.thisismyjam.com/song/dylan-hill/she-fell-what-of-him

https://www.indieshuffle.com/get-people-back-to-dust/

http://www.ripemusic.com.au/dylan-hill/

This link actually has one of his old songs, along with a music video: https://vimeo.com/136590627

Since then I have been unable to track Dylan down, and trust me, I tried.  I even went so far as to email that random “Mysteries,” podcast to see if they could help. Whelp, they never answered, and here I am, still puzzled about Dylan Hill’s whereabouts.

Then a couple weeks ago, I decided to try my luck again.  I found that Dylan is now performing under the stage name “Casper Cult,” along with a girl named Alisha Lindsell. I was excited to hear this new music, but was disappointed with what I heard. Ambient electronic syncopated beats still dominates his style, but they are nowhere as original and catchy as his original tunes.

It seems that the song “Industrial Love,” follows in the same vein of his previous works.  Check it out here : “Industrial Love,” by Casper Cult

The mystery still lingers, why did Dylan completely scrap his beautiful music for new songs that are subpar? His old music stood out from the generic ambient electronica, while his new releases are anything but unique.  What happened, Dylan?