2020 release. Washed Out is Atlanta-based producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ernest Greene. Over three enchanting, critically-lauded albums and an EP, his music has proved both transportive and visual, each release inviting listeners into immersive, self-contained universes. With Purple Noon, his fourth album, and his return to Sub Pop, he delivers the most accessible Washed Out creation to date. For Purple Noon, Greene again wrote, recorded, and produced the entirety of the album, with mixing handled by frequent collaborator Ben H. Allen (Paracosm, Within and Without). Production of the album followed a brief stint of writing for other artists (most notably Sudan Archives) which enabled Greene to explore genres like R&B and modern pop. These brighter, more robust sounds made their way into the songs of Purple Noon and mark a new chapter for Greene as a producer and songwriter. The vocals are front and center, tempos are slower, beats bolder, and there's a more comprehensive depth of dynamics. Capism of Washed Out's oeuvre, taking the music to dazzling new heights.
2020 release. Mondo Cozmo does not regret putting his fist through that window while crafting his second full-length and first release for Last Gang Records, but the four-hour surgery did suck. Yet, breaking the glass smashed a figurative ceiling. In the aftermath, he learned how to "Say no," departed amicably from the major label system, "taped a f#cking pick to his cast" in order to play guitar, lost feeling in the aforementioned hand for two years, and wrote the rock 'n' roll record he always meant to write. The most rock 'n' roll thing about it isn't the right hook, the guitars, or even the attitude. It's the moment of self-actualization by the Philadelphia-born and Los Angeles-based critically acclaimed alternative troubadour and gutter punk poet.
2020 release. Unfollow the Rules is Rufus Wainwright's ninth of original material, his first since Out of the Game (2012), and his first with BMG. The album was produced by Mitchell Froom, and other contributors include Matt Chamberlain, Jim Keltner, and Blake Mills. Includes "Trouble in Paradise", "Damsel in Distress", "Peaceful Afternoon", and "Alone Time". There's still a sense of mischief in Wainwright's songs, but there's also abundant passion, honesty and a kind of fearlessness pervading this album. He pushes the boundaries of pop with these tracks, which were mostly recorded in single takes, and his vocals are at their soaring, sublime best.