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Songs for the Broken Hearted

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iTunes Review

Songs for the Broken Hearted interprets themes of expired relationships and soured love with oceanic washes of otherworldly sounds cascading and undulating with ever-changing sonic textures. Windy & Carl's brand of space-rock borrows from subliminal style of the shoegaze scene — witness Windy Weber's hushed vocals on the shimmering opener "Btwn You + Me," and the overflowing layers of lush guitar feedback on hypnotic songs like "La Douleur" and "Snow Covers Everything." Watery guitar echoes course through the icy "My Love," recalling the 1995 Slowdive dream-pop classic Pygmalion. Similarly, "Rhodes" oscillates with tape loops of My Bloody Valentine-style guitars, creating a beautiful soundscape of noise not heard since Seefeel’s Mark Van Hoen collaborated with Neil Halstead for Slowdive's 1993 5EP. The distortion grows meatier on "When We Were," droning and howling at times like the first two Flying Saucer Attack albums. Throughout Songs for the Broken Hearted, Windy & Carl continue to push avant-noise compositions into deeper, darker and unexpectedly beautiful realms without succumbing to gothic melodrama.

Customer Reviews

The peak of their career

Windy & Carl have been make sublime drones for a long time. Antarctica and Depths are probably two masterpieces of the genre of worm sound deriving from the glorious droning of Flying Saucer Attack's Rural Psychedelia. As fabulous as these two albums are, Songs for the Broken Hearted tops them. It is cozy like being enveloped in a down comforter, yet spacious like an old growth forest. This album is a gift.

Headphone Commute Review

Windy Weber & Carl Hultgren have been releasing minimal ambient and experimental post-rock music since the late 90's. The catalog of this Michigan based husband-and-wife duo spans an eclectic selection of notable labels such as Icon, Ochre, Darla, Brainwashed, and of course, Chicago-based Kranky Records. Songs For The Broken Hearted is Windy & Carl's fourth release on Kranky (being signed to the label for over a decade now), where it perfectly fits among the works by their fellow label-mates, Stars of the Lid, Pan•American, Tim Hecker, and Brian McBride. The tracks on Songs For The Broken Hearted continue to build on the duo's style of beatless shoegaze layers of Carl & Windy's guitar work, using EBow and a variety of time-based delays, with the occasional soft vocals by Windy. Both play equal amounts of guitar on the record, and Windy tells me that "each track (with the exception of Rhodes) was created spontaneously with us both playing guitar, and then carl added a few extra layers after and i added the vocals". The sound of this album is still drony, but a lot more harmonic, as if a heavy pillow was left on the Rhodes, pressing on all the right keys. The cover art of the album pictures a forest with breaking light. A parallel could be drawn between this image and the dense stratum of sonic frequencies evoked by the guitar, with an occasional breakthrough of clearly EQed voice, which almost whispers the songs that lullaby the sad, and indeed the brokenhearted. To understand the depth of feelings behind this work, it helps to bypass my interpretations, and instead quote Windy talking about the album on the band's web site: "this is an album about love. everyone has known love, and everyone has known loss. love is not just about warm fuzzy feelings, although that would be the part people say they like the best. and in any span of time, love changes and means different things to different people. [...] songs for the broken hearted is an album full of honesty, both musically and lyrically. it is for anyone who has felt love - you can hear it in the sounds and the words, both spoken and unspoken. the album i never thought would be is finished." For an extensive selection of Windy & Carl's tracks, check out their triple disk release, Introspection (Blue Flea, 2002). A few other great recommendations from the duo include Depths (Kranky, 1998), Consiousness (Kranky, 2001), and a compilation of two EPs, The Dreamhouse / Dedications to Flea (Kranky, 2005) - the latter being a sad elegy dedicated to their departed dog, Flea. Recommended for the above mentioned Kranky roster. Windy & Carl are currently preparing for their spring tour along with Benoît Pioulard with some special treats from Lambs Laughter (Windy and Thomas Meluch). For tour tour dates and details check their website or myspazz.

Sometimes sad is beautiful

This record has been one of the highlights of the past year for me. Primarily made up of washes of heavily processed guitar with the occasional murmering female vocal, it is slow, beatless, and epically melancholy. The song that gets me most is "My Love" - great music for dreaming about past romances.


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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