Music

Washed Out

Technology helped translate the rich, detailed patchwork of Washed Out's multimedia album, 'Mister Mellow,' into an equally powerful live experience. Microsoft collaborated on a dynamic live show, allowing fans to experience in person Washed Out's "impressionistic view of the world."

Washed Out (Ernest Greene) recently released his highly anticipated album, Mister Mellow; his first fully immersive multimedia experience. Every track is accompanied by an original music video, created by 11 different video artists and utilizing several forms of animation, from claymation and stop-motion, to hand-drawn cartoons.

To take his bold vision even further, Washed Out 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 tech 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.

Creative technologists use Microsoft Kinect to capture Washed Out's movements on stage.

Watch the video to go behind the scenes with Washed Out and their creative partners at their live tour rehearsals.

Ernest Greene calls this immersive set-up 'the future of live concert experience.'

'Mister Mellow' was inspired by vintage animations. Microsoft worked with Washed Out to bring that vision to life on stage.

'It's all about creating things I've never seen, really,' says visual artist and collaborator Timeboy.

Each component of the live show has been designed as an extension of a song and its music video, creating a vivid, sometimes absurd world for fans to explore during tour. Mister Mellow’s videos all reflect the handmade, “paint outside the lines” style of Greene’s music, influenced here by classic plunderphonics records and the experimental collage techniques of musique concrete. Styles as diverse as free jazz, house, hip-hop, and psych are combined with interstitial voiceover samples (often pulled from anonymous Youtube vlogs) to create a busy, chaotic, and caricaturish mix, which moves away from the synthesizer-driven sounds of his earlier work.

Thanks to the robust output and compact size of the Microsoft-powered system, including the Kinect, Washed Out will be able to share the experience with fans everywhere while on tour.

Washed Out's latest album and live tour merges modern technology and raw rock 'n' roll

When he was writing Washed Out’s most recent album, Mister Mellow, Ernest Greene was dealing with a lot of big life milestones. He was expecting his first child (now almost a toddler), touring, and becoming a homeowner.