First Listen: ‘Two Step’ Score

In his directorial debut Two Step, filmmaker Alex R. Johnson trades Austin’s good times exterior for something altogether darker. It’s a thriller that burns slowly like the Texas sun, focusing on the characters’ messy relationships before erupting into violence. A small-time criminal tricks elderly strangers into wiring him money, leading him into confrontation with a freshly-grieving college student.

Two Step premiered at SXSW 2014 to rave reviews, and it finally hits theaters and iTunes On Demand on July 31. We’re also proud to premiere the film’s score, written and composed by Austin’s Andrew Kenny. From his time in the American Analog Set and the Wooden Birds, Kenny knows a lot about subtle, intimate flourishes, but Two Step allows him to explore more unsettling sounds. Acoustic interludes get ripped apart by electric squeals, matching the film’s mood frame-for-frame, all before ending with a piano version of the Wooden Birds’ “Long Time To Lose It.” Like a lo-fi cousin of Ennio Morricone or Jonny Greenwood, Kenny explores the desolation of the film’s Texas setting–equal parts beautiful and terrifying. Buy the score here and listen to Kenny and Johnson’s guest DJ set here

–Art Levy

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