Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Record label: Kranky
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Indie Rock
The excitement in Windy & Carl’s music comes in how the married couple inverts our expectations of organic music. They sound, well, alien. In fact, their music’s vibe often aligns more with ambient electronica than most any pop music featuring live instrumentation. The music’s draw, though, comes in its ass-backwards approach to sound.
Michigan space drone sweethearts Windy & Carl began in the early '90s, bringing together glacial webs of processed guitars in extended tapestries of melting sound. We Will Always Be, their fifth full-length for Kranky, finds the band reaching a new peak in its already strong 18-years-and-counting trek of ambient explorations. The majority of the songs here found their beginnings as a collection of recordings Carl (Hultgren) worked on solo and presented to Windy (Weber) as a Valentine's Day gift.
Of the immeasurable legions that blogged and tweeted and pretend-hand-wrung about Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth filing for divorce a few months back, only a small fraction of them will encounter the new album by Windy and Carl. This is a shame, because if people do in fact have a genuine need for experimental guitar music performed by a happily married and now middle-aged couple, then Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren fit the bill, and have done for some time. It’s also a shame because they create exceptionally pretty, plangent ambience which, despite not tending to be song-based (as ‘song’ is normally understood), is sweet and enveloping enough to feel oddly accessible.
Windy and CarlWe Will Always Be[Kranky; 2012]By Josh Becker; February 16, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG“In the sun, in the moonlight, I love you,” Windy sings on “For Rosa,” the opening track on We Will Always Be, Windy & Carl's eighth proper studio album. It's a tender acoustic ballad backed by particularly gravelly static. Indeed, “love” has been the predominating theme across the married couple's body of work: its ups and downs, its anxiety and lusciousness and sublimity and excitement and depressions.
What were Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren doing back in 1992, when the rest of the world was busy banging its collective head to Alice In Chains? Making their debut album of drifting, dreamy ambient music. On cassette. These days, every would-be ambient-pop auteur with a laptop loaded with Logic can -- and do -- unleash their own slo-mo electronic sound sculputures upon the world at large, but the Michigan-based husband-and-wife team of Windy and Carl were at the forefront of the American underground ambient scene way before it was on the cool kids' agenda.
There's a disarming honesty to the way Michigan-based husband and wife duo Windy & Carl communicate with one another. A blog post from Windy, published in late 2011, describes the making of We Will Always Be, framing it in the context of their relationship. "Yeah, we have had bumps in the road, and on occasion it seems as if we may never recover from these bumps, but we do," she wrote.
“Gossamer” is the word I was looking for. As in, “this new Windy & Carl album is nothing if not gossamer.” It wants to drift away, but it’s almost shockingly pretty. And like those tenuous spiderwebs we see on public access nature shows, it’s remarkably resilient, even as it hovers on the edge of perceptibility. Constantly evasive, We Will Always Be opens with the most direct folk song of their expansive and largely drone-laden career, but within a few seconds, you’ve lost track of the words — they’re there, but that whirring thing in the background seems kind of pretty.
Michigan-based husband and wife duo Carl Hultgren and Windy Weber release their fifth full-length album, We Will Always Be, on Kranky. Windy & Carl are primarily known for their deep, post-shoegaze, ambient guitar drones and have contributed to defining Kranky's quiet energy for well over a decade. We Will Always Be showcases eight dense and lengthy drone soundscapes that contradict the mood set by the sunflower on the album's cover.