Washed Out is Ernest Weatherly Greene, a 26-year old from Perry, Georgia who crafts perfect, blissed-out synthpop in his bedroom. Some call it chillwave – the name given to Greene and a bunch of like-minded souls including his friend Toro Y Moi – but Ernest prefers "dream pop".
Life Of Leisure is his debut UK EP, and it's the work of a serious talent: these are six pop songs that drip with emotion and nostalgia; big pop tunes hiding behind waves of woozy, bleached-out synths and lavish but DIY production. Listen hard and you'll hear samples from forgotten '80s tunes: 'Feel It All Around' is based on a sample from Gary Low's 1983 single 'I Want You'.
Greene began making music when he moved back to his native Georgia from Columbia, South Carolina to live with his parents in summer 2009. There, he set up a basic studio in his bedroom and recorded by night when his folks went to bed.
By the autumn, he'd recorded Life Of Leisure, and the blogosphere was in a spin over his tripped out sound. For Greene, Washed Out was a summer project – the previous year, he recorded lo-fi rock music as Lee Weather. But Washed Out, somehow, has captured the zeitgeist and taken on a life of its own.
"My parents live out in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of this peach orchard", says Greene. "It's very rural, and there is nothing much going on, so I guess that's had a big influence on everything, as far as just not having much to do. I put a lot into these songs".
In 2010, given that Washed Out is barely a year old, Greene has played only a handful of shows, including some feverishly received appearances this year's SXSW and is still feeling his way into the music world: early releases were as limited edition cassettes. However, with Small Black as his backing band, he's poised to tour the UK in anticipation of this debut EP, providing UK fans with a taste of the sound that looks set to define the next movement in American music.
Washed Out will perform at Dot to Dot 2010.