Tuesday, 13 January 2009
School Of Seven Bells are a psychedelic shoegaze band from New York made up of Benjamin Curtis of Secret Machines and identical twins Claudia and Alejandra Deheza formerly of On!Air!Library!. They make silky, ethereal dream pop with a heavy vocal emphasis (they write the lyrics first in the songwriting process) and have toured in 2007 with Blonde Redhead and at the end of 2008 with M83. Their sound is not unlike the latter, dreamy but forceful, and deeply submerged in instrumentation, however there is less of the music and more of the voice, and much much more of the psychedelia. Alpinisms is like being in a dream ten minutes after you thought you'd woken up, with lyrics often abstract and hard to understand behind the reverb and the hypnotic effect created by the Deheza's chilling Goldfrapp-like vocals.
The standout track is 'Half Asleep' and in that title the song is summed up - dreamy to the max, and pushed disorientatedly through the effortless chord changes by the School of Seven Bells.
This album is a refreshing experience in the same vein as M83 crossed with a drugged up Portishead, and is not a fix of ambient electronica to be willingly missed.
Half Asleep (mp3)