Some bittersweet news this week. School of Seven Bells, whose founding member Benjamin Curtis passed away last December after a year long battle with cancer, have announced a new album's worth of material that will be released in the not-so-distant future. The album was recorded on the heels of their 2012 album Ghostory, both before and after Ben's diagnosis. Between treatments, he managed to complete his portion of the record in its entirety. Alejandra Dehenza, the surviving member of the band, is picking things up where her partner left off and heading back into the studio to finalize the recordings.
Yesterday SVIIB released the collection's first track, "I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)", recorded in its entirety to Ben's laptop from his hospital bed before passing on December 29th, 2013 at the age of 35.
They have also paired the defiant, sing-along-in-the-face-of-that-which-is-trying-to-break-you, Joey Ramone anthem with some beautifully captured visual accompaniment, directed by long-time friends Toby Halbrooks and Alan Del Rio Ortiz. Filmed during a cross-country road trip in Joshua Tree, the desert setting is fitting. "Benjamin always held the desert very close to his heart," Alejandra comments. "It was a really important place to him. I'm glad we were able to shoot this video where we did, for him."
While we're grateful to know there's a whole album's worth of Ben's lifework still to be surfaced, no amount of sonic bliss can replace the hole his passing has left in the indie rock community we care so much about. Thanks for the new tunes Ben. You are still very much missed.
Watch our sunset session captured on Baeble HQ's rooftop back in 2010.