Explosions in the Sky & David Wingo
(Temporary Residence Ltd.)
Prince Avalanche is the sort of indie release made for film festival buffs. The low-budget release focuses on Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch in near isolation as they spend the summer repainting the lines on a highway that had been damaged by fire. With the setting so rural and the cast stripped back to only a couple of characters, the soundtrack must be delicate. Instrumental geniuses Explosions in the Sky have paired up with composer David Wingo to make a thoughtful, atmospheric record.
The Prince Avalanche soundtrack is far more acoustic than Explosions in the Sky’s usual, but they make the sonic shift work well for them. The songs themselves sound as though they could belong on a Bon Iver or Wilco record, though each track taken by itself is fairly brief given the constraints of soundtrack writing. There are still hooks that show off why Explosions in the Sky have had such success with soundtrack work: the intricate acoustic guitar of “Alone Time,” the playful hesitation of the piano on “Hello, Is This Your House?” and the slowly building, beautiful “An Old Peasant Like Me.”
This is a brief but lovely work that doesn’t need a film to justify its existence. In fact, I hope that David Wingo works with this band again.