Being categorised within a subgenre with a cleverly coined portmanteau name can often be a curse in disguise, just consult any band labelled nu-rave in 2006. Thus Georgia native Ernest Greene, alias Washed Out, already faced a level of expectation and perhaps even scepticism prior to the release of his debut album, being one of the acts most closely associated with the ‘chillwave’ tag and also a friend of another ‘chillwaver’, Chazwick Brundick, aka Toro Y Moi.

Any doubts over the credibility of Washed Out are washed out by the end of his debut LP Within and Without. ‘Eyes Be Closed’ opens the record with a re-imagining of the first bars of ‘Born Slippy’, incorporating a psychedelic piano riff, without ever going into a full release of energy. It sets the mood for the following track, ‘Echoes’, which incorporates elements of Caribou’s ‘Swim’ but maintains the whispered vocals that Greene adopts throughout his work.

The central segment of the record is reserved for two tracks of considerable potential for late night radio or film soundtrack use. ‘Soft’ adds an energetic drum line to the Ibiza chillout vibes of the core melody, and the vocals are like an instrument in the way they wistfully wrap themselves around the music. ‘Far Away’ has a level of longing befitting its title and its theme of lamenting a lost love.

The best track of the album comes late on, ‘You and I’ centres around a ponderous synth and slowly seeps into your consciousness, with its emotive impact building to an apex with the guest vocals of Caroline Polachek. Our journey ends with the stark and stripped bare ‘A Dedication’, a song which Greene revealed in an interview was written after the mixing and recording of the other tracks.

Admittedly Within and Without is limited in its emotional range, lacking in immediacy when compared to Toro Y Moi’s Underneath the Pine, but then this does not detract from the underplayed beauty of the record. Like Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago fed through an electronisation process, be prepared for Washed Out to be the voice of heartbreak in 2011.

Within and Without is out on 11th of July on Weird World.