For those not up to speed, Sex Education is a comedy drama on Netflix, in which a teenager teams up with a fellow student to provide sex therapy through counselling sessions at school. Entertaining and engaging, the programme is an unusual mix of the contemporary world and ‘80s fashion, with a focus on sexuality, teenage angst and relationships.
American singer-songwriter Ezra Furman was a wise choice for the soundtrack; Furman’s songs are often spikey, tender, witty, poetic, with a punk rock sensibility, and her catalogue evidences an ability to evoke and articulate what it means and feels like to be an outsider, a teenager, someone struggling with life.
The soundtrack to Seasons 1 and 2 has seven new Furman tracks along with three from 2015’s Perpetual Motion People, two covers from 2016 EP Songs by Others (LCD Soundsystem’s “I Can Change” and Melanie’s “The Good Book”), and a track apiece from 2018’s Transangelic Exodus, 2013’s Day of the Dog and 2012’s The Year of No Returning.
What of the new tracks? There’s a wide range of musical approach, including the downbeat and atmospheric “Care”, the dramatic “La Madrugada”, and the crooning of “If Only The Wind Would Blow Me Away”. Many of the tracks perfectly reflect the difficult themes of the show. “I’m Coming Clean”, with its Bowie like vocal, confesses secrets “I don’t know if I can tell you”, things to show that no one’s ever seen, and habits that are hard to break. The sombre “Amateur” talks of being “down to my clumsy childhood essence…unfiltered, free”, and the soul-searching ballad “Every Feeling” deals in hurt, pain, panic, hate. The grungy “Early Rain” focuses on unrequited desires.
The digital download includes four bonus tracks, a track from Day of the Dog and one from The Year of No Returning, plus two new releases, a charming, fuzzy cover of the Clovers’ “Devil or Angel” (written by Blanche Carter) and the gently acoustic “Splash Of Light”.
Label: Bella Union Records
Release Date: 24 JAN 2020