Luna, the dream pop bands from the 1990s, just released a new video. The release is part of a rollout for the band’s upcoming album of covers, A Sentimental Education. The album, set for release on September 22nd, will be accompanied by an instrumental EP called A Place of Greater Safety. The group hasn’t put anything out since their 2004 album, Rendezvous.
The new video, a cinéma vérité film about the actress Rose McGowan, is scored by a cover of The Cure’s “Fire in Cairo,” off their 1979 debut album, Three Imaginary Boys. Guitarist Dean Wareham released a statement about his relationship with The Cure, “Those first three albums by the Cure made a big impression on me as a teenager and ‘Fire in Cairo’ is one of the first songs I learned when I started playing guitar.”
As opposed to Direct Cinema, which tries to distract the viewer and subject from the reality of the camera, cinéma vérité accepts the camera as an inevitable part of filmmaking. The camera operator, no longer a fly on the wall, becomes more of a provocateur. The video, shot in a cloudy haze of black and white, features little interaction between the footage and music. Music videos often try to match the audio and visual elements to create a symbiotic piece. Luna’s video just puts music to footage. Following McGowan around through a party, a live Luna performance, and various interactions, the audience sees brief moments of larger situations. Even in these moments, the lighting only allows for viewing of the direct subjects involved, the background remains flooded in darkness, much like the larger context of each interaction. Through these smoky scenes the director, Keven McAlester, attempts to unveil something about the actress that can only be discovered through the subtle, unconscious actions that occur in-between her calculated ones. What it unveils is up to the viewer.
Luna’s take on “Fire in The Cairo” is generally faithful to the basic idea of The Cure’s arrangement, but the sound differs greatly. Luna’s version has much more of an echo, the kind of sound that seeps into fabric like smoke, that expands to fit the limits of its container. The Cure’s version sounds more flat, more immediate. That sound of quick guitar jabs and drum hits reminds a listener of the sort of subdued punk sound that The Cure managed to convey so well.
A Sentimental Education brings Wareham, Sean Eden, Lee Wall, and Britta Phillips, back together for the first time since 2014, after they had already spent a decade apart since 2004. Track lists for their upcoming album and the EP, A Place of Greater Safety, can be found below.
A Sentimental Education:
01 Fire in Cairo (The Cure)
02 Gin (Willie “Loco” Alexander)
03 Friends (The Velvet Underground)
04 One Together (Fleetwood Mac)
05 Most of the Time (Bob Dylan)
06 Sweetness (Yes)
07 Letter to Hermione (David Bowie)
08 (Walking Thru’ the) Sleepy City (The Rolling Stones)
09 Let Me Dream If I Want To (Mink DeVille)
10 Car Wash Hair (Mercury Rev)
A Place of Greater Safety EP:
02 A Place of Greater Safety
03 Captain Pentagon
04 Around and Around
05 Ides of March of the Trolls
06 Spanish Odyssey