Believe it or not, but Windy & Carl have been together for closing in on two decades now. In that time, they've released over a handful of albums, a batch of EPs, and put out a slew of other songs (most of which were collected on the excellent Introspection 3CD). Songs For The Broken Hearted is the newest effort from the group, and their fourth for the Kranky label. Although the title suggests a rather one-sided view at the feeling, the ten-song release actually looks at all the different feelings and emotions that go along with love, from good to bad.
Given those wide-ranging emotions, the ten tracks on this release are nicely varied, with some bleak moments and several that are on the cusp of uplifting as well. Vocals make more of an appearance here than they have on some more recent releases, and the group floats out their usual brushstrokes of gorgeous guitar and synth sounds (blurring together at times in ways that make them indistinguishable from one another). "Btwn You + Me" contains most of these elements, as overlapping drifts of slowly-shifting filtered guitar chords slide underneath the quiet, but breathy vocals of Windy, who's words sound stark and sad despite the rich accompaniment. While the building blocks are largely the same, the twelve-minute "La Douleur" feels much more aggressive. Again, waves of guitar feedback unfold over one another, but they have a bit more snarl in their push, and some ringing notes can be heard at the end of phrases.
"Rhodes" is one track where the clouds part and the sunbeams burst through, and the ten-minute album-centerpiece comes as a nice breath, with a shimmering drone that sparkles over some deeper groans that never overwhelm. Despite the title, "Snow Covers Everything" again breathes with a light touch, as vocals from Windy are accompanied by lighter chords and loads of filtered bells. Still, the group is at their best on pieces like the closer of "The Same Moon And Stars," which mingles some reverb-heavy guitar notes with more layers of filtered guitars and synths in a way that's tinged with melancholy, but also as comfortable as a well-worn, warm jacket in cold weather. Really, the same thing could be said for just about the entirety of Songs For The Broken Hearted. It's another solid entry from the long-running group, and perfect for the upcoming cooler temperatures.