School of Seven Bells
|School of Seven Bells|
School of Seven Bells at Tonic in 2007
|Origin||New York City, New York, United States|
|Genres||Indie rock, dream pop, shoegazing, electronic|
|Labels||Vagrant, Ghostly International, Full Time Hobby|
|Associated acts||The Secret Machines, On!Air!Library!, Prefuse 73, Tripping Daisy|
|Past members||Benjamin Curtis
School of Seven Bells (often stylized as SVIIB) is an American indie rock band from New York City, formed in 2007. It originally consisted of Alejandra Deheza (vocals, guitar), her sister Claudia Deheza (keyboards, vocals) and Benjamin Curtis (guitar, synthesizers, vocals). Claudia Deheza (keyboards, vocals) left the band in 2010. Curtis died in December 2013.
Benjamin Curtis met identical twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza while opening on an Interpol tour. The three decided to end their commitments to their old bands, move into a shared space, and create a home recording studio together. The Deheza sisters were formerly of On!Air!Library! and Curtis was formerly of Secret Machines.
The band had an unorthodox songwriting process that began with lyrics, which were then supplemented by the music. Curtis said this is the most important part of the band with "everything else [being] accompaniment". A before-and-after example of this process is hosted by NPR's program Day to Day.
A debut single "My Cabal" was released in May 2007 on the UK label Sonic Cathedral. A twelve-inch/digital EP, "Face to Face on High Places," was released in September 2007 on the Table of the Elements label, in addition to a single from producer Prefuse 73 called "Class of 73 Bells" that features the band. The band then toured with Blonde Redhead and with Prefuse 73.
School of Seven Bells' track "Chain" from their album Alpinisms was featured on an Adult Swim and Ghostly International compilation album, Ghostly Swim, promoted by Adult Swim and available for free download.
Their second album, Disconnect from Desire was released in July 2010. It was hailed by Pitchfork Media. During the accompanying tour, they covered the Siouxsie and the Banshees song "Kiss Them for Me".
The band was awarded International Bet of the Year (Aposta Internacional) at the 2010 MTV Video Music Brasil.
On February 28, 2012, their third studio album and first as a duo, Ghostory, was released. It includes the singles "The Night", "Lafaye", and "Scavenger".
On November 13, 2012, the EP Put Your Sad Down was released.
On February 8, 2013, Alejandra Deheza announced via the band's Facebook page that Benjamin Curtis had been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma after several weeks of symptoms. Deheza noted that the condition was treatable, and expected treatment to last several months. However, Curtis did not recover and died on December 29, 2013 at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.
On June 25, 2014, Culture Collide premiered the "I Got Knocked Down (But I’ll Get Up)" video. The site announced that Alejandra Deheza plans to release a new School of Seven Bells album, with Curtis' portion already recorded in its entirety prior to his death.
According to Benjamin Curtis, SVIIB was inspired by "everything from Kraftwerk, Wire, Beyonce, New Order, Blonde Redhead, to Section 25 comes to mind, along with singers like Joni Mitchell and Robert Wyatt. We're huge fans of pop, too, mainly because we're huge fans of smart songwriting".
When touring, SVIIB utilized additional members including James Elliott on bass, Joe Stickney (Bear in Heaven) on drums, Allie Alvarado on keyboards/backing vocals, and Christopher Colley on drums.
Singles and EPs
- "Face to Face on High Places" (2007)
- "My Cabal" (2007)
- "Silent Grips" (2007)
- "Half Asleep" (2008)
- "Heart Is Strange" (2008)
- "Iamundernodisguise" (2009)
- "Windstorm" (2010)
- "I L U" (2010)
- Put Your Sad Down (2012)
- "The Night" (2012)
- "Lafaye" (2012)
- "Scavenger" (2012)
- Bordal, Christian (December 26, 2008). "School Of Seven Bells: Blurring Life And Art". NPR. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
- Ben Curtis Talks School of Seven Bells, Secret Machines Pitchfork Media Aug 21, 2007.
- School Of Seven Bells: Blurring Life And Art (Adobe Flash (Streaming)). NPR. 2008-12-16. Event occurs at 3:50. Retrieved 2008-12-20. "To me, that's the most important part of School of Seven Bells," Curtis says. "Everything else is accompaniment, you know, in my opinion."
- Granzin, Amy (July 14, 2010). "School of Seven Bells: Disconnect from Desire". Pitchfork Media.
- Kiss Them For Me (Siouxsie and the Banshees cover School Of Seven Bells, live in Chicago 2010.
- "Interview With School Of Seven Bells - Feed Me With Your Kiss".
- "School of Seven Bells Fights Nerves, Ghosts at Mercury Lounge - NBC New York".
- *School of Seven Bells Official website - archived on November 5, 2012.
- School of Seven Bells at AllMusic
- Interview with Benjamin Curtis at musicOMH
- Interview with all band members at SUPERSWEET
- Interview at L.A. Record
- Interview at 4or the Record
- Interview with Alejandra Deheza on Disconnect from Desire (track-by-track) at SUPERSWEET