June 03, 2005

My Education "Italian"

After releasing their excellent 5 Popes EP a few years ago, Austin band My Education seemed to disappear. As often happens in the shady world of indie rock--and especially in the world of art rock--such tragedies are to be expected. It was sad, of course; the EP hinted at a greatness yet to come; for such a promising debut record, a natural anticipation for a follow-up. But time goes on, and as the months turned into years, the promise of a new My Education record seemed more of a dream than a forthcoming reality. Thus, it was a pleasant surprise when Italian, My Education's debut album, appeared in my mailbox.

Not much has changed with My Education's sound, and this is a good thing. They still have a sound that instantly fills up the room; theirs is a sound that's loud and beautiful and melodic and noisy and simply blissed-out in goodness. Much like their citymates Explosion In The Sky, My Education's music is cinematic in nature and epic in execution. Unlike their heart of metal, My Education's pulse is based around gentle ambience that's not unlike Brian Eno or Robin Guthrie, and even though they get loud, they're a quiet loud, suitable for blasting awake your neighbors at two AM as well as for gently rocking your baby nephew to sleep when it's his nap time.

What does Italian have that other bands don't have? What makes them special? Simple--it's that swirly gypsy viola that does the trick. On songs like "Thanksgiving" and "Puppy Love," the viola swirls and sways and leads your ears and your soul into a trippy, calm world, where the sky is glowing a beautiful shade of pink and the sun is always setting on a cold winter's eve. On other songs, such as "Texas Style," it fits quite nicely in the background, gently falling into place and supporting the band's grand piano-and-guitar arrangements. Of course, it's not just the viola that makes My Education special, because they have written some really, really beautiful songs, and there's no way not to get blissed out on Italian's long, gorgeous melodies.

Italian is a beautiful, grand album that will lull you into a calm, peaceful state. It took My Education a few years, but they've released a debut album that's extremely beautiful and well worth the wait. Listen with the lights turned down, either with someone special or with no one but your own thoughts. Either way, it's going to be interesting...

--Joseph Kyle

Artist Website: http://www.myeducationmusic.com
Label Website: http://www.thirtyghostsrecords.com

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