Boomkat Product Review:
Divine, endlessly reverberating dream-pop from the much loved Windy & Carl, reprising and refining their very special brand of shimmering shoegaze vistas on their first album proper since 2012.
Born in dream-pop’s second wind, when it shifted further into etheric margins after 4AD brought it to near mainstream acclaim during the ‘80s, Windy & Carl were at the eye of a slow moving sound emerging from Chicago and centring around the Kranky label in the ‘90s, whom they’ve become synonymous with over the years.
With ‘Allegiance and Conviction’ Windy’s vocals are again an elusive, poetic presence, drifting in and out of focus to channel Nico at her smokiest, or even one of the alien spirit voices collated in the gorgeous Tongues Of Light sides, and all typically bathed in their deeply anaesthetised sound, smudging the guitar style of Robin Guthrie into imaginary infinity.
Windy & Carl have been crafting inner space electric guitar and bass vistas for nearly three decades now, but their latest feels as vital and vaporous as any peak opus in their vast catalog. Subtly more succinct than their previous albums, ‘Allegiance and Conviction’ finds Carl Hultgren’s guitar amassed in pillowy layers of bass and cirrus timbral iridescence, feeling out sound stage settings for Windy that shift from the chthonic, sepulchral drone-pop majesty of ‘The Stranger’, and the breezier pastoral relief of ‘Recon’, to the densely forested fug that mask her in ‘Alone’, while the shimmering instrumental hope of ‘Will I See the Dawn’ pays up in quietly cathartic effect up in the romantic guitar strokes and decaying angelic chorales that cradle Windy’s fading spirit on the closer ‘Crossing Over’. Lend an ear and you’ll be richly rewarded.