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Local Music Spotlight: Windoe’s ‘Meditations on Grief’ emphasizes Karli Ingersoll’s personality, voice

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 7, 2021

Karli Ingersoll’s solo project is Windoe, and Windoe’s new EP is titled “Meditations on Grief.”  (Jennifer DeBarros)
Karli Ingersoll’s solo project is Windoe, and Windoe’s new EP is titled “Meditations on Grief.” (Jennifer DeBarros)
By Julien A. Luebbers For The Spokesman-Review

Windoe, the solo project of local artist Karli Ingersoll, releases her new EP “Meditations on Grief” on Oct. 15. The EP pivots in sound and composition from Ingersoll’s previous album, moving toward the intimate and internal. Where “Great Prize” was filled out and the product of many hands, “Meditations on Grief” is relatively pared back, drawing emotion from a couple of major components rather than an array of minor ones.

The move away from a filled-out band sound emphasizes Ingersoll’s voice and personality in the record. “All of the songs just felt really personal, and I just wanted to produce them and record them by myself. To be more connected to that process and have it be more personal because that’s how the songs felt.”

But removing the band didn’t mean turning down the volume. In its most powerful moments, the EP draws on walls of pulsating sound, emphasizing the lyrics and creating a vivid auditory experience. For example, in “Fast Forward,” her layered vocals blend to a harmonious crescendo. But there are also plenty of quieter pieces, like the debut single “Space for Love.”

“Space for Love” has a slightly glimmering beauty, which in its short-stroke strumming and lovely lyrics falls effortlessly on the ear. But there is sadness latent in the song’s tone: “I am not alone / I can choose / To hold a / Space for love / I know you won’t let me give up.”

“Writing the songs was a bit of an exploration of what I was going through,” Ingersoll said. The happenings of her own life informed the songs, and the exploration came out in the music. “With songwriting” she continued, “there’s a little bit of a cryptic angle even to stuff that does seem really personal.”

It is in that “cryptic”-ness that the listener’s imagination, or personal life, can fill in the space and create the ground for real feeling. Ingersoll put this idea in her own words: “I feel like there’s something about art that helps put a picture to something that’s kind of hard to quantify.”

And grief is one such something, a feeling that in the moment evades clear intellectual understanding. But through the art, the music, maybe something will emerge. Part of how Ingersoll’s music works with the subject of grief is to express its multiple manifestations, its complexity.

“The songs have a little bit of a pathway through the EP of like, the stages of grief and the different ways you look at what you’re experiencing,” the owner of Lucky You Lounge said. The distinct and multiple images of grief and love meld into a coherent and collective whole.

As a record, it’s a thought-provoking and also deeply emotional experience, a real success in its capacity to relate the listener with themself. As a “Meditation on Grief,” it strikes many a keen chord, holds fast to the weight of its subject matter.

“That’s what I feel like music does, it’s one of the only art forms that can really get to the core of something so complex and create this almost intangible thing where you just connect the dots between realities and feelings and otherworldly experiences.”

“Meditations on Grief” works away the isolation: Ingersoll’s openness let’s a listener see how their life might be reflected in her music. “I hope that somebody might hear this, and it might be the sound that they need in that moment, or it might help them have a little lightbulb moment like ‘Oh yeah, me too.’ ”

Ingersoll performs alongside a couple of friends every third Saturday at Lucky You Lounge in a series dubbed “Alcohol and Feelings.” The next performance is Oct. 16. Stream “Meditations on Grief” anywhere you find music on Oct. 15, or listen to “Space for Love” now. Also follow @WindoeMusic on Instagram for up-to-date information and releases.

Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at julien.luebbers@gmail.com.

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