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Ernest Greene of Washed Out Discusses The Hyper-Real Imagery of “Paracosm”

By Ernest Greene; images from "Don't Give Up" video, directed by Kate Moross on August 28, 2013


Washed Out’s new album is called Paracosm, a word loosely defined as “a detailed imaginary or fantasy world involving humans and/or animals.” We asked Mr. Washed Out himself, Ernest Greene, to tell us about the Kate Moross–directed video for his new song “Don’t Give Up,” a visual exploration of one such world. Here are Greene’s hand-picked favorite stills from the video and his explanation of the hyper-real paracosm concept. Behold: nature!


The idea for the “Don’t Give Up” video was to focus on the natural beauty of the patterns and colors of animals and nature in general. They both were a big inspiration on the visual side of Paracosm. I had rough ideas about the record being a “daytime-sounding” album—and bright, bold colors were an extension of that. My studio was also surrounded by a lot of flowers, so these ideas slowly started to seep into the new material. 

I had also built in some ideas about fantasy and the power of daydreaming and so when Kate Moross pitched the idea about the post-production color treatment it all really seemed to fall into place. The colors give the video a feeling of being almost hyper-real—an idea that I also was trying to communicate sonically on the album. The artwork for the record is a collage of old flower illustrations that have been treated in the computer for various color upgrades, much like the way I produce my music. I love taking old sounds and manipulating/re-contextualizing them into something new.

 It was very important to shoot the video in the highest-definition video we could afford. Every small nuance and subtle variation in color was important—again, to capture that hyper-real quality about the animals.

This is the Endnote of our forthcoming issue of FILTER, on stands September 13.