Shoe•gaze \shü-gãz\ vb + Dream•Pop \dreem päp\n + psy•che•del•ic \si-ke-del-ik\ adj
The two folk tinged beauties’ voices recall the best of a bygone era of hippie psychedelia, almost a folk renaissance that resonates with monotone intonation, melancholy harmonies, tie-dyed waves of color, and the smoky whiff of herb. Recently risen from uber music mecca Brooklyn NYC twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza are the front women for School of Seven Bells who, along with sound magician Benjamin Curtis, have recently offered up their debut full length, out on Ann Arbor’s Ghostly International. Borrowing both their name and, in its own way, their album title – Alpinisms – from an elusive Andean school of thievery their music comes to embody a sort of high altitude mystery and mirage. Curtis’ shoegaze-esque guitars, fuzzy synths and glitch-hop drum programming have a dissonant yet ethereal quality, woven together they create a billowy sound bed for the twins often murky & dreamlike vocal meanderings to comfortably sink into. The succession of reviews following the albums release most often draw comparisons to The Cocteau Twins & My Bloody Valentine – both center pieces of the Shoe Gaze & Dream Pop movements - but there are also hints of contemporary influences ranging from Prefuse 73’s Savath & Savalas project to, say, the more despondent moments from Stereolab’s library. Refreshingly the School’s sound evades being backed into a definitive corner, rather – to keep with the high-flying, consciousness-expanding motif – it “transcends”. It creates a bright, carefree & colorful sonic playground all its own, a place to escape the grey clutches of winter that loom close at hand.
- Joshua P Ferguson