Windmill is a project that’s difficult to get a grip on. Composer Matthew Thomas Dillon has released two albums of stark, sad recordings under the name since 2006. These are songs designed to crawl under your skin and stay there. They demand careful attention, but if you let them in you’ll wake up in the middle of the night with lyrics like “there’s less adventure in my blood then you thought there was” swimming through head. This is a good thing. Windmill songs force you to look inward and examine your place in the universe.
The lyric mentioned above is from a song called “Gallery Masterpiece”. It originally appeared on Youtube paired with footage from the video game Uncharted 2. Separately, the song is an awe inducing thing. It’s just the right amount of somber with a hook that comes off like a mantra. With the video game footage it’s something else entirely. It’s impossible to describe the emotions it brings, but it’s a life affirming piece of art.
Gallery Masterpiece was also available in a collection of new demos Dillon posted on his Soundcloud page. I didn't have a chance to fully investigate these songs, but they’re as good as everything that came before. Occasionally startling and exciting, but also harrowing and debilitating. These songs run the gamut of human emotion and experience. They come from an exciting voice that demands to be heard.
These songs are labeled winter songs, but some of them are downright sunny. One or two of them even contain a horn section. Dillon has since removed the songs, but has replaced them with the announcement of a new digital album due out in March. You can, and should, preorder the album at Windmill’s bandcamp page. The preorder will net you a few new songs. These songs are a tantilyziing teaser. Above Duffel Farm is already a contender for my year end list, even with me only having having heard a few of the songs. I'll have a review of it at some point in March, probably for themidnightwire.com