Rough Trade East did a great thing last Friday in bringing Washed Out to the store. They played Lovebox earlier in the day and are currently promoting their latest album release. Within and Without is a great album, and the guys have moved up a gear from their lo-fi days. The quality and fidelity is much higher and the song writing is just as brilliant. It may have lost some of its charm from being so well-produced, but you cannot say it’s not a great album. The big tracks, Eyes be Closed, Far Away and Amor Fati, are highlights, and the rest of the album is much more than just filler. Washed Out have always been an album band anyway, so go get drunk here, wake up with some pretty little thing you romanced in the night and put Within and Without on, let it wash over you, get blissed out and fall in love.
The In-store was just off the back of their show at Lovebox Festival earlier that day. I’m sure that the full electronic performance at Lovebox was great, but what they did at Rough Trade on Brick Lane was just special. They had stripped back all the electronics and the five piece band had more maracas than you could shake a maraca at, simply wired keyboards and multiple vocalists achieving their lovely sound. Most of the tracks they played were of a lounge-jazz persuasion but it came out brilliantly. Obviously in a record store no one is going to be jumping around like mad so this laid back performance was perfect and it really eschued the talented musicians that Ernest Greene has assembled. They played a couple of tracks from the new album including Eyes be Closed and they also played some of their best from the first two albums; notably Feel It All Around and New Theory. Speaking to the bassist and the super-cool headdress-wearing keyboard player afterwards (who wanted to go riding around on Boris Bikes!) they said they thought that it went better than the performance at Lovebox. Really great, really special and you should have been there. Did I mention it was free?