By Ben Bowers
on 6.28.11

We don’t cover a lot of music on this site, largely because we understand how personal and polarizing it can be. In the case of Within and Without by Washed Out, though, it’s worth making an exception — and no, it’s not about the racy cover art. Available starting July 12th (though you can listen to most of the tracks online now), this is artist Ernest Greene’s first feature length album, and it’s produced by Ben Allen, who, among other things is Cee-Lo Green’s personal sound engineer and co-produced Gnarls Barkley’s St. Elsewhere along with Danger Mouse. It may not inspire diehard rock or hip-hop fans, but if your tastes are slightly flexible, it’s worth a listen to understand an emerging genre of music. Keeping reading to find out more.

So-called “chillwave” is a terrible label that’s, unfortunately, stuck on Mr. Greene’s pioneering brand of sound, but don’t let the hipster nonsense scare you off. Essentially, it’s a blending of electronic and indie rock elements to encapsulate the lazy and carefree feeling of spending days in the sun. That’s an awfully cheesy statement, but listening usually proves to most that the sentimentality is spot on. Within and Without features a handful of standout tracks, which all create vivid soundscapes thanks to dense, atmospheric effects, and Mr. Greene’s hazy vocals. Give the three samples a listen below courtesy of some intrepid Youtube users, and choose for yourself whether any are worthy of your coveted summer drive playlist. If you do end up liking what you hear, support the one man act later this month by pre-ordering his album.

Buy Now: $12