PHOTO CREDIT : Alexandra Gavillet // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
After teasing its release for the past few weeks, Washed Out is back today to share his first album in nearly 4 years. Mister Mellow arrives today as the most ambitious Washed Out album to date, as Ernest Greene commissioned original music videos for each of the album's songs to create a comprehensive visual counterpart for the album. Created by 11 different video artists, the album's visuals utilize several forms of animation; from claymation and stop-motion to hand-drawn cartoons.
To take his bold vision even further, Washed Out has collaborated with Microsoft to produce a dynamic live show, allowing fans to experience in person his "impressionistic view of the world." The creative team behind the collaboration turned to Microsoft technology to translate the rich, detailed patchwork of Mister Mellow's music and visuals into an equally powerful live experience. Robust and advanced live integrations mimic the wide range of artistic styles seen and heard on the album.
In addition to Mister Mellow's original visuals, Washed Out enlisted Saturday Night Live's Kyle Mooney to create a unique special entitled The Mister Mellow Show. In it, Mooney hosts the fictional program The Mister Mellow Show, on which Washed Out's Ernest Greene is a featured guest that is interviewed by Mooney's character Your Boy Charlie before watching the visuals for Mister Mellow together.
Mister Mellow is out on Digital & CD/DVD now. The directors, animators and artists who contributed to Mister Mellow range from the go-to animator for hip-hop superstars to a BAFTA Award-winning documentary director. Learn a bit more below.
Eric Coleman - "Title Card"
L.A. born artist Eric Coleman began his career as a freelance photo assistant for some of the most acclaimed photographers of our time such as Rankin, Peter Lindhberg, Melodie Mcdaniel, Steve Heitt, and Robert Erdman. He's worked in fine art, photojournalism, fashion, landscape and music photography, and his photography has been published in magazines from The Fader to Teen Vogue, and many more.
Winston Hacking - "Burn Out Blues"
A Canadian filmmaker and collage artist represented by Brainfeeder Films, a division of Flying Lotus's Brainfeeder music label, Winston Hacking uses techniques that masquerade as animation in an attempt to deceive the viewer's eyes. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Vice, Rolling Stone, Adult Swim, and Vimeo Staff Picks.
RuffMercy - "Time Off", "Zonked"
Ruffmercy is a Bristol-based animator and video director whose instantly recognizable animations have been used for videos for smaller indie artists, as well as hip-hop superstars Danny Brown and Pusha T, dance duo Disclosure and electronic musicians such as Lone.
Drew Tyndell - "Floating By"
Drew Tyndell is part of Computer Team, a small creative studio in Portland, Oregon that specialises in 2D hand-drawn and stop motion animation. "When making the video I was mainly responding to the song, and how it's made up of chopped up/cut up sections that all flow together," Drew says, "I wanted to go the same route with the animation, designing a mashup of scenes inspired by the lyrics and the feel of the song. The video starts out very methodical, illustrating the theme of routine and the boringness of everyday life. Eventually it gets weirder and weirder - bright colors take over and the video goes from routine to daydreaming to escaping the everyday grind."
Ernest Greene aka Washed Out - "I've Been Daydreaming My Entire Life"
Speaking about his contribution to the visual album, Greene says, "My parents had recently moved out of my childhood home and they were pulling out tons of boxes of old photos. It's funny how all of that stuff lives on hard drives now - but I really loved how distressed a lot of the photos looked and felt - with lots of dust and folds - and I made sure to keep all of that as I scanned-in each photo. I've always been a bit of a loner and have always felt slightly "apart" from everything thats going on around me. That's sort of what the video and song represent for me - never really fitting in."
Jonathan Hodgson - "Hard to Say Goodbye"
Jonathan Hodgson is an internationally renowned, BAFTA winning animation director based in London. He combines teaching with animated filmmaking through his own production company Hodgson Film. He was animation director of Wonderland: The Trouble with Love and Sex, the first full-length animated documentary broadcast on British TV, and has also created animated documentaries Mostafaei for Amnesty International's End the Death Penalty campaign, Guantanamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes for Guardian Films, and What Comes After Religion, a short film collaboration with Alain de Botton.
Daniel Brereton and Morph Animation - "Down and Out"
Daniel Brereton is a director based in London. He has directed videos for artists including Metronomy, Connan Mockasin, Late of the Pier, Django Django, and Kindness, in addition to commercial work for brands.
Sophia Bennett Holmes - "Instant Calm"
Sophia explains the idea behind her video: "In this animation, I was exploring the feeling of dancing, but for no audience, dancing for yourself. The character goes in and out of the literal world, her clay body moving in animated "slow motion."
Harvey Benschoter - "Get Lost"
Oof Collective member Harvey Benschoter is best known for short-form experimental animation. First introduced to psychedelic culture through the likes of Dead Milkmen, Butthole Surfers and Frank Zappa, his work often explores the unintentional psychedelia of mainstream culture. His visual contribution to "Get Lost" resembles the style of Turkey, his critically-acclaimed short that earned him a Vimeo Staff Pick upon its release in 2014. Past artist collaborations include his video for Lightning Bolt's "Vile House," which won the 2007 Chicago Underground Film Festival in the category Best Music Video.
Parallel Teeth - "Easy Does It"
Parallel Teeth is the alias of Robert Wallace; Director, animator and graphic artist. Originally from New Zealand, he now works and lives in East London. His playful style spans poppy live action, hypnotic 2D animation, puppetry, and colourful illustration, and he has worked across a range of media, including music videos, commercials, festival identities, album artwork, installation projections, 360 videos, wall murals and prints. He was also selected by the the Art Directors Club for the Young Gun award and won the Music Video category in the Motionographer Motion Awards.
Jason Miller - "Million Miles Away"
Jason Miller leads the multiple Emmy-nominated Shrine Production team, working with artists such as Diplo and Riff Raff and brands like Nike and Audi on commercials, documentaries, music videos, and live-concert pieces. Miller has known Greene since 2010, when the Washed Out project was in its infancy. "It's been great as a fan and a friend to witness the project grow and morph into so many different iterations. We wanted the video for "Million Miles Away" to play off of 90s skate videos and to be gritty, tripped out, and lightly feature Ernest as well. We shot in downtown LA -- such a loaded location and one of those places that's hard to wrap your head around all of the good and bad wrapped up into five square miles."
7/8 - Norfolk, VA @ The Norva (Tickets)
7/9 - Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle (Tickets)
7/10 - Charlotte, NC @ The Underground (Tickets)
7/11 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm (Tickets)
7/13 - Orlando, FL @ Plaza Live (Tickets)
7/14 - Jacksonville, FL @ Mavericks Live (Tickets)
7/15 - Tampa, FL @ Orpheum (Tickets)
7/17 - Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse (Tickets)
8/11 - Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Tickets)
8/12 - Dallas, TX @ Gorilla vs Bear Festival at Bomb Factory (Tickets)
8/14 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre (Tickets)
8/15 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern (Tickets)
8/16 - Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater (Tickets)
8/18 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater (Tickets)
8/19 - Seattle, WA @ The Showbox (Tickets)
8/21 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot (Tickets)
8/22 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater (Tickets)
8/24 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue (Tickets)
8/25 - Chicago, IL @ Metro (Tickets)
8/26 - Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall (Tickets)
8/28 - Boston, MA @ Royale (Tickets)
8/29 - Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel (Tickets)
8/30 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer (Tickets)
8/31 - Washington DC @ 9:30 Club (Tickets)
11/10 - McDade, TX @ Sound On Sound Festival (Tickets)
MISTER MELLOW TRACKLIST
1. Title Card
2. Burn Out Blues
3. Time Off
4. Floating By
5. I've Been Daydreaming My Entire Life
6. Hard to Say Goodbye
7. Down and Out
8. Instant Calm
10. Get Lost
11. Easy Does It
12. Million Miles Away
MORE ABOUT MISTER MELLOW
Boredom. Laziness. Complete apathy. Is it a quarter-life crisis or just an excuse to never grow up?
This is the world of Washed Out's (Ernest Greene) new album Mister Mellow. A fully immersive multimedia experience, the album playfully guides the listener through the highs and lows of this often ridiculous struggle. In classic Millennial fashion, most young adults' perception of their own lives are overblown and overdramatized to the point of absurdity - as are the many ways they distract themselves from the insecurities faced on a daily basis (see social media, fantasy, drugs, music). Mister Mellow shines a light on the humor found in this paradox - how we can be so bored and unhappy in what is often a very privileged, contented life?
Further moving away from the synthesizer-driven sounds of his early work and the more band-driven sound of his work on iconic indie label Sub Pop, Greene has now partnered with the Arts & Crafts as he continues to carve out a unique sonic identity that stands in direct opposition to most current trends. Instead, Mister Mellow was influenced by classic plunderphonics records of the past as well as the experimental collage techniques of musique concrete. Styles as diverse as free jazz, house, hip-hop and psych are combined together with interludial voiceover samples (often pulled from anonymous Youtube vlogs) to create a busy, chaotic, and caricaturish mix; one that quickly starts to feel like a mirror of the claustrophobic, hyper-stimulated psyche of most young adults.
Released as an integral companion to Mister Mellow is a full length visual counterpart that utilizes almost every form of animation (collage, claymation, hand-drawn, stop-motion). The aesthetic of each video reflects the handmade, "paint outside the lines" style of Greene's music - and again is a reaction against the sterile, hyper-realistic renderings of most modern digital-based art. The rich, detailed patchwork that makes up Mister Mellow (and its visual accompaniment) is unique in this day of quick-fix, throwaway music-culture.
Conceived over the course of 2 years, it is intensely personal (Greene's only collaborator was mix engineer Cole MGN) - but the ideas and observations found within the album speak to a much larger shared experience that is affecting an entire generation of young adults. An experience that we come to see as both funny and sad.