A Winged Victory For The Sullen

The duo of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie, channelling ritual, higher powers and unspoken creative energies.


Important innovators both in their own right and as a duo, O' Halloran and Wiltzie have separately had a hand in iconic film scores and seminal ambient-classical groups including Stars Of The Lid and Devics. Working together under the Winged Victory moniker since 2011, the duo have released a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. Now they are poised to release their latest album (and first for Ninja Tune) “The Undivided Five”, their fifth release (following their debut album, two scores and an EP), for which they embrace the serendipitous role of the number five, inspired by artist Hilma af Klint and the recurrence of the perfect fifth chord in their work together.

“The Undivided Five”, only the pair's second piece of original music outside of film and stage commissions, sees them pay greater heed to the small details in their sound than previously, something they say has been encouraged by the move to a new label. They channel influences such as Debussy, nodded to in the opening track, whose big chords and complicated arrangements inform a lot of their approach. It took shape across eight different studios across Europe, including Brussels’ Eglise Du Beguinage, where Wiltzie has previously performed with Stars of the Lid, and where he organised a 2018 tribute concert for their late friend Jóhann Jóhannsson, their connection to whom shaped the direction of the new album.

A Winged Victory For The Sullen tour Europe in Feb/March 2020, bringing a bespoke PA and light system on the road with them in order to realise their own performative vision as closely as possible. In recent times the duo also composed the score for Invisible Cities, a specially-created performance to herald the 2019 edition of the prestigious Manchester International Festival.


John Stevens