Ernest Greene, the man better known as Washed Out, lets his artsy funk and rhythmic choral soul take center stage on his sophomore album “Paracosm.” Released last year, the record unfolds with patient intensity—with tracks like “It All Feels Right” and “Don’t Give Up” leaving listeners with a seductive bitemark. Bottom line: Greene’s sound can best be described as a heavenly ambience that stretched out way beyond anyone’s expectations.
Don’t let the geeky mug on this musician fool you. Chaz Bundick, the mastermind behind Toro, got up close and personal with 2013’s “Anything in Return.” The record alienated ’80s synth pop and turned it into a spine tingling disco affair. Bundick knows how to obscure the drama behind the curtain—funky arrangements and soft vocals lay the groundwork for solipsistic lyricism. In other words, a lot of Bundick’s turmoil turns out to be all in his head.
The genre can’t get any chillier than this. Last year’s “Glacier” isn’t just a nod all things nature (track titles include “Tundra,” Alaska,” and “Forest at Dawn”). It’s also an album that exudes sheer prettiness at every corner. Teen Daze’s hymnlike mumbles border on being luxuriant at times, but turn out to be a refreshing reward on top of many songs that barely contain any vocals. “Glacier” best fuels cosmic states of mind.