Windy and Carl – Consciousness

Windy and Carl

The electro-ambient-pop duo of Windy Weber and Carl Hultgren have the flare for playing the prettiest brand of genre-defying music. On this, the fourth release and first in two years for this Dearborn, Mich. band, the songs are a tad lighter than their past works, nicely bringing in hints of guitar pop with an ambient twist. Whether the songs are more electronic and droning or composed of guitar, bass and keyboard, these songs are the kinds of things you just want to lie back and take in.

“The Sun” starts out with the most cheerful yet stark guitar line, played almost unaccompanied throughout. Just light guitar, flowing softly and echoed, to lead into “Balance (Trembling).” This 8+ minute track shows off the more droning, quiet side of the duo. With a synthetic base, this track flows softly, like water, through your subconscious. Just as I get lulled completely, “Elevation” begins to increase the flow, almost a living, growing thing.

The humorously named “The Llama’s Dream” tends to be a more melodic affair while still quiet and focusing on the drone-like effects of the synthesizers. Half-way through, the guitar comes back in, quiet and light, and Windy even adds her breathy, fragile vocals to the mix, more for an instrumental affect than to convey much in the way of decipherable lyrics. That sound is developed upon on the more pop-like title track, which you’ll hardly even notice runs for more than 12 minutes. “Resolution” closes off the album. Starting off more droning, the light, chiming guitar comes in and out almost beyond perception, and the entire song has a darker, more night-like feel. I guess that makes it the perfect closer.

This style of album is almost infinitely difficult to review, at least in any length. Most of these tracks are drawn-out drone affairs, and while they vary from light to quiet and sparse, they tend to be more subconscious listening affairs. What Windy & Carl does to spice things up is add some actual instrumentation to the works and even some vocals. That’s why this band stands out from the pack. So perhaps this is the perfect sleepy album, but it’s really just pretty, dreamy, spacey music.