Windy And Carl are one of those groups that I've managed to keep tabs on, despite not managing to review many of their releases on this site. In fact, the last (and only) album that I reviewed by them was their Portal full length, which is more or less their debut (a re-release of their early work). In the years since that time, the duo have refined their sound ever so slightly with each release, and when I heard that they were going to be putting out a limited EP earlier this year dedicated to their dog, I thought it would be a good time to re-discover them.
That release was their Dedications To Flea EP, which was the inaugural release in the Brainwashed handmade series, and hearing it made me glad that I decided to give them another chance. For those that didn't manage to pick up a copy of the limited EP, the group has included it along with The Dream House for a stunning double-dose of music. What you get with the release in total is four tracks and nearly eighty minutes of music split between two discs. The Dream House opens with "The Eternal Struggle," which mixes fuzzy, sustained keyboard chords with low, delayed guitar notes that seem to trickle down into all the right places. Running over thirty minutes, the track is all about slow evolution, but it's absolutely hypnotic, and sparse chimes and closing drone that finish the piece sound like the aural equivalent of clouds parting and letting the last few rays of sun through on a cold winter day.
"I Have Been Waiting To Hear Your Voice" combines more sustained, droning chords with ebow guitar and the result is another subtle piece that shifts in slight ways to slide inside your consciousness and make you feel that despite all the bad things going on, life might just go on. The aforementioned Dedications To Flea is slightly different in source sounds, but no less stunning, as the group mingles field recordings of their departed dog Flea with sparse, but completely lush, layered guitar playing. "Ode To A Dog" is downright uplifting, as overlapping tones dance and mingle with one another while "Sketch For Flea" seems to take a slightly darker turn, as if the entire life of the dog has been compressed into the two long tracks with the happy moments leading into the sad decline of health at the end.
Considering the duo hasn't released a full-length album for almost five years, this long release (split into two beautiful pieces) from Windy And Carl sounds like they haven't skipped a beat. Coupled with beautiful sleeve photography and detailed, heartfelt liner notes written by Windy herself, The Dream House definitely feels like more than just another ambient/drone piece without any thought put into it. If you haven't heard the group before and are interested, this might just be one of the best places to start.