Allegiance and Conviction is the first album from Windy and Carl since 2012’s We Will Always Be. Their mesmerising murmurings, bewitching guitar drones and poetry-laced lyrics have been missed, but these elements make a welcome return in Allegiance and Conviction. The duo have been creating inner space music for decades, and this one, releasing on Kranky on March 27, was six years in the making.
Windy and Carl’s thoughtful approach to sound design has paid off, because the record shimmers with a beautiful, thin light. The amount of time they spent on the album is indicative of a caring approach, and this shines through, too. The drone-work is fantastic, and Windy Weber’s lyrical musings help to open up the sound even more, balancing the delicate, symmetrical sound and its instrumental elongations with tighter, lyric-based songs which wrap around the transparent textures of the guitar.
The clear electric guitar tones are imbued with a fragile light, shining upon the vocal’s surface like sunlight on a leaf, its tone becoming one of transparency. Weber’s lyrics are words of release, and the changing chord progressions, rippling with copious amounts of delay and reverb, reveal wonders at every turn. Morphing to reach ever-brighter moments and passing through glimmering sequences, the guitar helps to create another Galaxy, a more intimate set of stars for the imagination, twinkling and sparkling only when eyes close. As always, their music takes you to another place.
Carl Hultgren’s guitar zones out for long stretches at a time, going beyond the galaxies and bringing distant stars into view. The melodies seem to cross the cosmos, not only hinting at but pressing upon the listener a grander sense of the Universe and its immeasurable scale – as such, both inner and outer worlds are explored. Allegiance and Conviction is a shorter record, but it’s still able to feel expansive, and it’s still caressed with their golden touch.