Mister Mellow moves further away from the synthesizer-heavy sounds of the recent Washed Out releases and more band-driven sound of his work on iconic labels Sub Pop in America, and Domino in Europe. On Mister Mellow, Greene draws from the experimental collage techniques of musique concrète and plunderphonics artists such as The Residents. Combining styles as diverse as free jazz, house, hip-hop and psych together with interlude-esque voiceover samples, often pulled from anonymous YouTube vlogs, he creates a busy, chaotic, and caricaturish mix that mirrors the claustrophobic, hyper-stimulated psyche so familiar to young adults.
As he continues to carve out his innovative sonic identity, influenced by the world around him but unafraid to buck trends, it’s fitting that Greene has partnered with legendary hip hop label Stones Throw Records, long a home for beat-loving musical rebels. His approach to releasing music is every bit as individual, too: in an environment where compiling singles into an album format or working with a single video director are the norm, Greene has chosen to commission eleven different artists to bring the visual aspect of his fully-realised album project to life.
On Mister Mellow, Washed Out steers clear of emotion to empathise with the minutiae of the world around him. “I’ve been much less interested in sentimentality and emotion for the past couple of years,” says Greene, “In some ways, I think its a reaction against getting older and having more responsibilities. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for a time in my life where I could just relax and block out the world for a moment.” Though Mister Mellow is an intensely personal album, its ideas and observations speak to the lived experience of so many young adults, an experience that we come to see as both funny and sad.