Monday, May 16, 2011

Hasn't Come Out Yet: Washed Out- Within and Without


This whole chillwave thing emerged a few years ago. Bedroom-pop. Glo-fi. Whatever you call it, Sub Pop is now cashing in. That is, they're about to cash in once this new Washed Out album leaks. It's gorgeous stuff.

Despite the deep beats, the music is nothing you'll really want to get up and dance to. It will, however, give you a feeling that you had already been dancing for hours. Within and Without emits a drag and haze like the end of the after-party. You don't want to leave yet, even though every one else is gone.

It's hard to call this music fashionable, but I'm actually not sure what phase music is in right now. Then again, I don't believe in good or bad music anymore, just interpretations. I've DJed enough weddings to know that a lot of people think Miley Cyrus is "good". And yeah, nothing is objectively "bad". Right and wrong and neither here nor there because it is what it is and whatever works.

So why did I choose to write about this Washed Out album all of a sudden? Why not the latest Plustapes artist? Why not Wild Beasts? Obviously I don't have an answer here. But this new Washed Out album keeps calling me back. It is music that I want to hear. So why not share my feelings on my internet blog, right?

I think it's similar to the way we grow older and (at least those of us who grew up in religious families) start to see where we misunderstood our spiritual upbringing. What was once black and white blends together until contrast no longer exists. We don't have hard answers anymore, nor do we crave them as we did in our youth. But that which brings comfort, that is what we do not turn away.

When we were young, we didn't have problems. We only had emotions. Now that we're adults, we don't have time to be worried about how smart or fun or popular we are. We have to pay the next bill. We have to keep our significant other happy. We have to keep our dogs fed. It's all real.

Sure, atheism is easy now. The logical answer is the best answer when you're strong of mind. But what happens when the mind goes? Do we hold tightly to the dread? And if so, for what benefit? Is it a matter of integrity? God doesn't exist, but what if I'm dying of cancer and I need some comfort? Will I be allowed some intellectual leeway at the end? Or do I have to just die alone, accepting my cursed fate as a highly evolved self-aware mammal?

Why is a Washed Out album raising all of these questions? Damn. Within and Without must be something special.

Music is abstract. It is an indirect form of human communication. But here's the key (seriously, this is it right here): miscommunication is always a factor. Authorial intent is bullshit for this very reason. You will never experience absolute communication. Everyone comes with a different pair of glasses through which they view the world, and miscommunication is unavoidable. Ambiguity is vital in art because it allows for multiple interpretations of one subject. Contrary to popular opinion, the Bible is one of the all-time greatest works of art. The Holy Spirit is something Christians call their conscience. Everyone has it, but you and I might call it something different.

Whatever glasses you're wearing, leave them on. Communicate by using languages you have learned. The other languages are not "wrong," you just don't understand them. Thing is, they're saying the exact same things you're saying.

When we hear music, we react on a personal level. Sometimes our emotions get the better of us, and we dance (well, I don't. But a lot of other people do). Reactions to art are sacred. As long as we don't settle for "good or bad" or "right or wrong" we will experience the Holy Spirit. We will make the decisions God predestined us to make. We will have hope and love and peace.

Is this an album review? Who cares. I love this Washed Out record and I hope you listen to it when it comes out. This is the internet. Nobody's paying me to write this. Who the hell knows why you read this anyway. Nobody paid you either.

Therefore go out and make disciples, and do not forget the interpretation you have taken from this blog post.

1 comment:

Josh Langhoff said...

Dig. Any chance you'd wanna put this up on Burnside closer to the 7/12 release date? Don't worry, I wouldn't pay you either, so no need to change that paragraph. Thanks Dylan!