My Education

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

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Austin's My Education continue their exploratory "whatever catches our interest" path with their 2010 release, conceived as a soundtrack for a silent movie, the famous late-'20s melodrama of urban and rural love and desire by F.W. Murnau. It's not a surprising development given both the band's interests and its current members' other interests (bassist Scott Telles has done similar projects with his band ST 37, for instance), but divorced from the film's visual context Sunrise has a feeling of a curio more than a stand-alone success. Many of the seven tracks sound agreeably moody and mysterious, in a way that almost reconfirms common expectations of what the abused term "post-rock" is supposed to stand for -- but which as a result don't sound distinct from any number of other practitioners in the field, thanks to slow progressions, big arrangements, and a sense of building drama. As a result, the best tracks are the ones that stand out more thoroughly from that template. "City Woman," with its shadowy, echoed suggestion of a mythic West that could suit acts like Lee Hazlewood and the Walkabouts in equal measure, is a winner, but even better might be "A Man Alone," exchanging slow burn for a weightless, immediate drone and related sonic squalls, suggesting a suspension and isolation befitting the titular character's state. It's worth a listen, but one can't help but feel it would be even more worth a screening.

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