WINDY AND CARL – WE WILL ALWAYS BE

It’s been about four years (several lifetimes in the blog continuum, I suppose) since Dearborn, Michigan based ambient/drone/beauty merchants Windy and Carl released a LP. Maybe you forgot they were still active or maybe you’ve never even heard of them. Well, We Will Always Be is as good an entrance as any into the delicate, shiver-inducing, sometimes unsettling, aural landscapes conjured by Windy and Carl. Giant spiderwebs, pools of warm light, dark mists and fog, bio-luminescent creatures, dying leaves, ink dipped oceans, whispers in caves. These are some of the treasures you may encounter while visiting Windy and Carl World.

Okay, the first track might throw you a bit. For longtime fans of W & C opener “For Rosa”, while gorgeous in its own right, is kind of an “uh oh…” moment. Unprocessed acoustic guitar strumming by Carl Hultgren and relatively clear vocals and lyrics by Windy Weber? There’s a flash of fear that this is going to be some kind of transitional album into a more traditional, singer-songwriter-y affair…but then I’m aware of the weird, gravelly, sample undulating underneath everything in the mix. Fear dismissed. This is an ambient album. Soon enough I’m drifting away with the blissed-out guitar swells of “Remember.”

The most exciting passage of the album is the second half. “The Smell of Old Books” is as ethereal and tranquilizing as anything the couple has ever recorded and there’s a dark mystery hinted at on “Nature of Memory” that is fully explored by the near 20 minute closer “Fainting in the Presence of the Lord.” In that final track the guitar scrapes away on top of the drone; the hand of God slowly tears apart her own creation.

We Will Always Be is the first Windy & Carl release I’ve purchased on vinyl and, believe me, it is completely worth it if you have a decent turntable and speakers/headphones. There are wonderful details throughout the mix and the mastering job by Steve Swartz sounds ace to my ears. A needle should touch these songs.

Support the artist: http://kranky.net/

-Christopher Dreisbach

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