School of Seven Bells, the ghostly Brooklyn trio, is named after a fictional South American pickpocket training academy. Perhaps that's where they picked up their deft interplay of meandering melody and ethereal siren song sure to leave you in a trance long enough for them to reach into your skinny jeans and steal your iPod, if they so desired. Personally, I wouldn't mind, as long as they return it full of their music.
The band has been getting a lot of attention for member Benjamin Curtis, formerly of Tripping Daisy and Secret Machines. While he may have a lot to do with their psychedelic sound, it's the twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza that breathe life into School of Seven Bells with their distinctive breathy vocals. It's appropriate that the first single off their debut CD Alpinisms was called "Half Asleep," since the band so often epitomizes the pleasantly hallucinatory state between wakeness and dreaming.
The new video for "My Cabal" gives a pretty accurate visual representation of that sound. At heart, it's your basic performance music video a vaguely '60s looking band playing against a color shifting background. However, the camera lurches and swoons as if you just took a handful of Ambien and then suddenly remembered you had a concert to attend. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have been generating a lot of hype for their retro shoegaze dreampop. School of Seven Bells fits into the same genre, but with less fanfare and a more detached, ambient sound, which suits them far better. So unless all the camera spinning makes you too nauseous to stand up, when School of Seven Bells invites you to "come inside / forget the darkness if just for one night," the lure is just too tempting to resist. -Nina Mashurova
School of Seven Bells on Tour
Jun 4 - Sticky Fingerz (w/ Black Moth Super Rainbow) - Little Rock, Arkansas
Jun 5 - Exit In (w/ Black Moth Super Rainbow) - Nashville, Tennessee
Jun 6 - Circus (w/ Black Moth Super Rainbow) - Columbus, Ohio
Jun 12 - Bowery Ballroom - New York, New York