The glo-fi genre holds as much promise as it does confusion. Warm synth-lines, echoing and fuzzy vocals - it doesn't seem definite enough to be promising. But Small Black made their way into our summer as the soundtrack to a departure from Los Angeles. As the 2.30am red-eye sailed out over the city, the song's signature lyric "do it without me/do it when I'm gone" took on added relevance, after all, I was getting out of there. The neon lights seemed to pulse and move with the electronics in my ears, like this was all a high-budget commercial done by a director with a tragic sense of humor and an eye for human drama.
But this experience in late July holds nothing to one I had this morning. Washed Out's take on "Despicable Dogs" is quite simply the most beautiful song I've heard this year. With a wall-of-sound loop and a "We can dance if we want to" allusion, Washed Out have pumped up the Small Black original into something that is as head-nodding as it is completely perfect. The emotional haymaker is still in the chorus where the signature lyric, the one that made Los Angeles harder to leave, comes through a mess of coordinated synth-peels like the quiet return of a past relationship or the departure from a current one. It needs no introduction. You can already feel exactly what this means.
Listen :: Small Black - "Despicable Dogs" [Washed Out Remix]