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Songs for the Broken Hearted

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Album Review

While Windy & Carl's music has often explored the world of extreme emotions filtered through shimmering feedback cascades, 2008 proved to be a watershed year for the duo, with Songs for the Broken Hearted following some months after Windy Weber's stark solo debut, I Hate People, and to an extent continuing the darker themes of that album while reaching a different resolution. With Windy's singing here on the opening "Btwn You + Me" sounding at once murkily distanced and close, while the lush guitar work familiar from past albums feels like a looming wave, there's a lurking dissonance in many of the songs that feels almost palpable. Often the guitars sound downright mean, as the angry buzz and hum of "La Douleur" ebbs and flows before resolving into a more exultant conclusion, while "When We Were" takes a calmer but no less unsettled tone, the stretched-out howls of feedback feeling like caged animals testing their limits against a buried background growl, before turning into a suddenly free keening charge, as if something had been finally set free. This said, not all is so melodramatic: at many points Songs for the Broken Hearted extends the quieter, more gentle feeling of some of the duo's earliest work together into the present; thus the steady, drowsy drone/chime of "My Love." "Rhodes," the album's centerpiece, has the same cascading, compressed loop familiar from Seefeel's majestic "Plainsong," but here it takes precedence, a liberating break, while "The Same Moon and Stars" ends things on the most serene note yet, though even that has a queasy, miasmalike undercurrent covered only to an extent by the surge of the lead guitars.


Formed: 1991 in Dearborn, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A leading light in Michigan's space rock scene, Windy & Carl's atmospheric ambience was created by guitarist Carl Hultgren and bassist Windy Weber. Hultgren first began recording instrumental guitar drone pieces in 1992, when he self-released a cassette tape named Portal before teaming up with Weber. By the end of 1993, the duo had issued a single, "Watersong," on the musicians' own Blue Flea label. Once Dreamt appeared in 1995, as did a reissued version of Portal (complete with new material). Drawing...
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Songs for the Broken Hearted, Windy & Carl
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