Sometimes its necessary to look back in order to truly move forward. Such is the case with Windsor for the Derby's 2010 full-length, Against Love. On album number eight, Dan Matz and Jason McNeely went back to listening to their earliest recordings, all of which were different than the more formal brand of atmospheric indie rock they'd been creating in the 21st century. With WFTD working between Austin and Philadelphia, this album began as a series of loops and drones, ambiences and textures, reflecting the way they'd made records in the 1990s. But rather than simply stay there, with help from a cast of frequent collaborators WFTD began welding these multidimensional soundscapes to the indie pop brand of songwriting they'd developed in recent years. The end result is Against Love, a collection of 12 songs at once accessible and experimental. While the opening title track is full of ethereal wispiness, "After Love" begins with a shimmering snare, becoming a lithe, midtempo love song with gentle harmonies, layered acoustic guitars, and reverb. "Queen of the Sun" is sheer experimental pop, with banks of organ, all but buried guitars, and single-note synths, all wrapped in gauzy production and hazy vocals. The melody in "Our Love's a Calamity" sounds like anything but one that would accompany such an utterly sad song. A simple bassline, tambourines, and porous electric guitars and carefully inserted acoustic ones underscore a sweetly sung yet poisonously bitter vocal and create a stark contrast of atmospheres. "Alex Lucero" is pure dark ambience with vocals completely buried in the mix. "Hips," an instrumental, is a stretched-out, repetitive, mantra-like construction of instruments played forwards and backwards. "Cursed Ages" is a lovely lullaby for the bereft. Against Love's titles and lyrics may reflect the darkness of emotions on offer here, but there are scant traces in the actual music and this study in contrasts in composition and production pays off handsomely.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek