HIGH TIMES: WASHED OUT Friday 03 February, 2012

Like falling into a 1980s tape deck…and enjoying it.

I don’t read the NME any more. The last time I went to buy it it had Destiny’s Child on the cover. That was the last time I made any attempt to buy it. It was the moment I realised that the NME and I had parted ways in our hopes and ambitions for music. The main upshot of my non-readership is that I have no idea what genre music fits into any more. I have no idea if what I’m listening to is pillarbox-techno, rumplestiltskin polka, mindyourstep or chlamydia funk. Therefore I cannot tell you what category this album falls into. I am sure there must be one it’s just that I don’t know it.

I can tell you that it sort of belongs in the same group as Neon Indian and Nite Jewel. All three acts have that same kind of hazy summer 1980s tapedeck nostalgia going on. Washed Out’s ‘High Times’ is much more purposeful than either of Neon Indian’s or Nite Jewel’s output. High Times is just a bit more danceable. I’d struggle to do any dance to a Nite Jewel song that didn’t make me look like I’d been heavily sedated. Washed Out’s High Times is going to put ants in your pants and make you want to dance.

At times it sounds like the soundtrack to a psychedelic 70’s cop show, at other times it sounds like a slow train journey on a sunny day but it always sounds nostalgic. Maybe I’ll put all three of these acts into a new genre of my own devising. I think I’ll call it Nostalgia-core. Go out and buy High Times because it is a prime slice of Nostalgia-core.

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