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For fans of Windmill’s outstanding 2009 album Epcot Starfields, here’s a bumper pack of digital extras: the Ellen Save Our Energy EP. Taking a new edit of one of the album’s standout moments as its lead track, the EP includes three remixes of Epcot Starfields album tracks, a 15-minute podcast in which Windmill answers questions from fans and the videos for Ellen Save Our Energy and former single Big Boom.
The soaring, euphoric Ellen Save Our Energy takes its name from a ride at Florida’s EPCOT centre called Ellen’s Energy Adventure. “I loved the name of the ride and wanted to build an anthem about our collective hopes and imperfections,” says Windmill.
It’s backed up by a set of superlative remixes. New York’s Pocket (Richard Jankovich) adds beats and synths to Big Boom, proving why he’s the in-demand remixer for Beck, Radiohead, Joanna Newsome and more. Munich-based trio Saroos bring crashing post-rock soundscapes and spare acapella vocals to album track IMAX Raceway, which is “about the trip I took to the Kennedy Space Centre with my dad. Looking back, it’s like we had everything to come, and everything to look forward to. It’s about wanting to hold on to moments, moments that didn’t necessarily stand out at the time, but looking back you would do anything to return there.” Finally, Finnish brothers Gentleman Losers deliver a gently flowing, rose-tinted remix of Big Boom.
Windmill is Newport Pagnell-born Matthew Thomas Dillon, who draws on memories and imaginings of far-flung places for inspiration for his lush, layered and emotive music. His first album, 2007's Puddle City Racing Lights, was a record about Japan's tilting trains, fluorescent lights and Tokyo moons. For the follow-up, he drew on his growing nostalgia for a childhood trip to EPCOT centre. “I have imagery in my mind from the EPCOT centre itself: colours, sounds, smells. The theatricality of it all was mesmerising, and my brothers and I were far away from the worries of adulthood.”
Recorded in solitude in a tiny bedroom with the lights dimmed, Windmill made an album of nascent glo-fi music before it became the movement of the moment. But then, he’s always had his eye on the big picture. “Epcot Starfields is mostly about the brilliance and boundless ideas of humanity and how they will all inevitably come to an end. Everybody’s life is huge. The chances that we get to have this existence with this type of consciousness must be a billion to one. How do you even prepare yourself to say goodbye to it or to people that have shared it with you?”
Buy The EP