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Show Review

Last Thursday, just before the sun ducked below the horizon of our cities' skyline, we hosted a trio of musicians on our rooftop. School of Seven Bells, a band we've been biding our time to work with over the years, came to pay us a visit, playing four selections from their recently released album Disconnect From Desire. Tucked inside their set was "Windstorm"; the enthralling conclusion to that recorded collection, reaching the kind of lofty, atmospheric heights one would expect from a song of that title. On our rooftop, however it was something different, something unique: quiet and a bit restrained, sounding much more delicate in the band's acoustic approach.

Both approaches are impressive and well worth a listen. We'll bring you the our exclusive on the rooftop a few weeks from now. Until then, enjoy the full album version, along with the band's new video for the song. There is a vague storyline running through the softly focused visuals, though it's not entirely clear what's going on. All is quite pretty though, and I think that's what counts here. We promise our video will be a little more straightforward in the end. Until then, see if you can crack the code of the video below. - David Pitz

Artist Bio

School of Seven Bells take their magic seriously. Symbols, myths, mantras-in the hands of sisters/vocalists Alejandra and Claudia Deheza and guitarist/producer Benjamin Curtis (formerly of On!Air!Library! and Secret Machines, respectively), these mystical practices become achingly human, methods of making sense of an emotionally complex world. School of Seven Bells sophomore album Disconnect from Desire-the follow-up to the Brooklyn trios breakthrough debut Alpinisms-takes its title from one of Brian Enos oblique stratagems; its cryptic album image is a "sigil," a mystical figure containing the energy and intent of the album entire. The real magic of Disconnect from Desire, though, lives in its music: ten tracks of soaring, visionary dream-pop from a band working at the height of its powers.

On Disconnect from Desire, School of Seven Bells focus the layered electronic textures and dense lyricism of Alpinisms to a razors point, distilling the music to its essence as guitars ring, beats crunch, and the Deheza sisters voices intertwine with new, right-in-your-ears clarity. "I want you to know that I loved you," Alejandra Deheza intones on "I L U", lending emotional directness to the tracks maelstrom of synthesized atmosphere and gently curving samples; "Babelonia" lays the protagonists wounded psyche atop a deep, baggy beat and overlapping, Stereolab-esque vocal tricks; "Dust Devil" matches a staccato, New Order-style bassline to the Dehezas distended melodies as the trio dips its toes into dance music and comes up glowing; and lead single "Windstorm" deftly evokes Eurythmics pointillist art-pop, slashed through with shoegaze guitars and sweetly menacing falsetto. More than anything, Disconnect from Desire sounds huge, as each instrument and electronic blip complements its partners and contributes to an ever-expanding whole.

Disconnect from Desire is a complete work-an old-fashioned album from forward-thinking minds, as thematically airtight as it is mind-bendingly gorgeous. In the end, the "sigil" on the cover of Disconnect from Desire is the perfect analog to the music: strange yet familiar, exquisitely rendered, breathtaking to behold.


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School of Seven Bells

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