| Columns |

School of Seven Bells' "I L U" and Its Phantogram Remix, Catch Both Bands in Miami

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

A couple weeks back, we introduced you to Active Child, the opening act for School of Seven Bells' upcoming Miami show at Grand Central. But we were so busy geeking out over his choral harmonies and harp-plucking that we glossed over the main event itself.

So let's correct that: School of Seven Bells is very much deserving of attention for its ethereal, female-fronted take on synth pop. The technical backbone of the Brooklyn threesome is provided by Benjamin Curtis, former guitarist of the feedback-filled space-rock act Secret Machines.

From his old band, he's carried over his textural obsessions, but this time pushing his love of reverb and delay through electronics as often as strings. The real flavor, though, comes from twin frontwomen Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. In a departure from the usual, the reedy brunettes write their lyrics before Curtis crafts any music, leading to relatively word-dense songs whose structure forms a real narrative arc. A School of Seven Bells song is a moody slice of life, with a wistful feeling that can recall greats like New Order, but with less aggressively dance-y tempos.

On its first album, Alpinisms, the band's stabs in this direction could sound a little half-formed and often threatened to float into the clouds. But its sophomore effort, Disconnect From Desire, showed a serious maturation, and the band's latest material has taken on a pop sensibility -- a very good thing here.

For a taste, check out the freshly released track "I L U," from the band's recent EP, Heart Is Strange. Try putting on this slab of atmospheric, slowly building, gentle disco on a morning that sucks, and we're guaranteed it will become at least 50 percent less sucky. School of Seven Bells is excellent for soothing the savage commuter beast.

For a bonus, also check out a remix of the song by Phantogram, an upstate New York guy-girl duo that specializes in a sort of psychedelic, electronic trip-hop revival blend of guitar and keyboards. Check it out yourself when the band plays its Miami debut this Saturday at the weekly Get Some party at Electric Pickle.

Download: School of Seven Bells - "I L U"

Download: School of Seven Bells - "I L U (Phantogram Remix)"

Phantogram. 10 p.m. Saturday, October 2. Electric Pickle, 2826 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $10 in advance from wantickets.com. Age 21 and up. 305-456-5613; electricpicklemiami.com.

School of Seven Bells, with Active Child. 8 p.m. Saturday, October 16. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $10 in advance from wantickets.com. All ages. 305-377-2277; grandcentralmiami.com.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.