Washed Out and Grimes at Bowery Ballroom
Monday, July 11th, I wandered off yet again to the Bowery Ballroom to see Washed Out perform. The opener, Grimes, was possibly the sexiest, most inspiring musical artist I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch live. One small girl with killer bangs going at it on her synthesizer, with a guy playing drums for her to add bass to her beats. It was like Enya mixed with Kaskade mixed with Delorean and it was ridiculously awesome. Unfortunately I’ve since been listening to her recorded music and watching other live performances, and it seems that this guy on the drums adding rhythm and a danciness to her music was a new experiment for Grimes. Her recorded music doesn’t have the same dance factor, but is still really cool to listen to.
Next up was Washed Out, who were incredible to watch. Every song made me want to jump around and smile and bask in the music. It was almost midnight in a dark, cramped venue but I felt like I was running around a beach in the middle of the afternoon. The danciness of both the new and old Washed Out tracks was relentless. I couldn’t stop swaying my hips. The quality of the music was unbeatable- it sounded even better than on the album, which is something I wouldn’t have thought I’d say about a mostly electronic, synth-pop band.
Washed Out played mostly new songs, in honor of their new album, Within and Without, which was released on Tuesday, July 12th. The album is fantastic. Mostly a continuation of previous albums, with a slightly different, slower, groovier vibe. “A Dedication” and “Within and Without” are uncharacteristically slow, but still melodic and soothing. The rest of the album sounds like you could string it together with previous album High Times and you’d have the perfect soundtrack to a pool party . What is missing from this album is the especially upbeat and beachy songs like “You’ll See It” and “New Theory” off of Life of Leisure, but I’m not complaining. Songs like “Before,” “Soft,” and “Amor Fati” are slower and less arms-in-the-air shout-for-joy, but are still gorgeous and fun songs in a classicly Washed Out way. Listen to the album via NPR’s First Listen here.