Windy and Carl - absolutely nothing. I'm not even sure I had heard of them before. But our friend Jon from The Inarguable had recommended to me that I find a way to check this album out. The fine folks at Kranky Records sent over a download, and I've been playing it over and over and over again, because this album is desperately and painstakingly beautiful.
Despite the pretty sunflower on the cover, it's great music for a bleak winter (and by "bleak" I mean no hope of true winter cold or snow). It's been unfathomably warm here, and considering that I basically spend the whole year waiting for the depths of winter (not trying to sound kvlt or some shit like that, I just love the winter), it's been an enormously disappointing season. This album has been a soundtrack for a good deal of that season.
I wish I could describe the sound of the record better... maybe think Nadja (minus the distortion, most of the time) on copious amounts of opium? I don't know, that would seem to imply that it's heavier than it actually is. It's not exactly an easy-listening record - it will challenge you - but it's not going to shake your walls. In any case, I'm having an easier time talking about the feelings the record conveys and produces, even though I'm failing at that as well...
I used the word "bleak" before, but I can't say the music is bleak in itself - there is deep sorrow here, without doubt, but after becoming very familiar and more comfortable with the record as a whole, I can't help but feel that if there is an ultimate feeling when all is said is done, it is that of hope. The ambient vibe of the record, created by long, droning passages of strangely-tuned and wondrous guitars, leaves one feeling like just over the horizon, something positive may be waiting. Indeed, at the end of the longer songs ("Looking Glass," Nature of Memory," and "Fainting in the Presence of the Lord"), there's no denying that rescue is on the way.
In the end, this is a 70-minute long record that will make you pay attention. It's not for everyone. If you don't have a decent attention span, or if you don't care for the artsier side of music, you're not going to get a lot out of this. But if you can tune out of the mundane for a while, you'll really enjoy this. It's a deep record that communicates a great many things, and I have to imagine that you'll have more success in identifying what those things are than I have.
Just know that We Will Always Be is much, much better than my laborious and awkward review of it.
This is available now as a CD or a beautiful 2xLP from Kranky Records.