School of Seven Bells

What is it about family bands? The Jackson Five and The Beach Boys set the bar high, and ever since, a touring group of sibings just brings joy to the heart. I remember the first couple shows I went to in Junior High, Danielson and Chevelle, were comprised of families. As long as I can remember, I’ve loved the idea of a family making music together. Maybe it’s because my own brothers don’t care about music at all, and I long to have a musical connection with my blood relatives. I don’t know… But regardless of the reason for my fascination with family bands, School of Seven Bells keep the momentum.

I first heard School of Seven Bells (SVIIB) on a Prefuse 73 track, “Class of 73 Bells,” the highlight of Prefuse’s 2007 album Preparations. SVIIB released their first full-length, Alpinisms, on October 28th. It’s an ethereal swim through sparking wires and fuzzy moodiness. On record, it would be easy to assume that SVIIB features a single female vocalist. But, the harmonies are not dubbed. After seeing SVIIB live, the perspective changes. There are in fact two vocalists in the band, and they are twin sisters.

Alejandra and Claudia Deheza are in sync physically and audibly. It’s a marvel to see; occasionally difficult to determine who is singing the melody, and who is harmonizing. But eventually, the family connection is minimized. This music is so cool you eventually get caught up in it, forgetting the fact that a couple of beautiful twin sisters are making it happen.

These Brooklynites have become one of my favorite new acts this year. They’ve toured with Blonde Redhead, and are currently making the rounds with M83. With such well-respected bedfellows, don’t be surprised if they start headlining their own tours in 2009. It’s ambient post-rock without stereotype. Catchy and complex, cryptic and lovely. Alpinisms is a very strong debut, and things can only get better from here.

Catch them with M83 if they come through your city in the next week:

Nov 22 2008 10:00P
Triple Rock Social Club w/ M83 Minneapolis, Minnesota
Nov 25 2008 8:00P
Neumos w/ M83 Seattle, Washington
Nov 26 2008 7:30P
Richard’s on Richards w/ M83 Vancouver, British Columbia
Nov 27 2008 9:00P
Doug Fir Lounge w/ M83 Portland, Oregon
Nov 28 2008 8:00P
The Fillmore w/ M83 San Francisco, California
Nov 29 2008 10:00P
Henry Fonda Theater w/ M83 Los Angeles, California
Dec 15 2008 8:00P
Mercury Lounge New York, New York

Download MP3-Half Asleep

So MY favorite twin musicians have always been The Proclaimers. I’m not sure if SVIIB will dethrone them, but it’s so great to see twin siblings making music together. How about some other groups that feature twin talent? Who else has the luxury of the doppelganger aesthetic? Releblog readers, inform me.

See Also

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One day, suddenly, time

took a turn that once felt so brief

I blinked to see polite ghosts fading quickly

Dylan Peterson is a recently married bicyclist from Chicago. He serves as Music Editor for RELEVANT. If you have a music tip for him, you can email him at [email protected].

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