School of Seven Bells

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School of Seven Bells
School of Seven Bells, Tonic NYC.jpg
School of Seven Bells at Tonic in 2007
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Indie rock, dream pop, shoegazing, electronic
Years active 2007–2013
Labels Vagrant, Ghostly International, Full Time Hobby
Associated acts The Secret Machines, On!Air!Library!, Prefuse 73, Tripping Daisy
Past members Benjamin Curtis
Alejandra Deheza
Claudia Deheza

School of Seven Bells (often stylized as SVIIB) was an American indie rock band from New York City, formed in 2007. It consisted of Alejandra Deheza (vocals, guitar) and Benjamin Curtis (guitar, synthesizers, vocals). Founding member Claudia Deheza (keyboards, vocals), Alejandra's sister, left the band in 2010. Curtis died in December 2013.

The Deheza sisters were formerly of On!Air!Library! and Curtis was formerly of Secret Machines. The band was named after a mythical South American pickpocket training academy of the same name.[1]


Benjamin Curtis met identical twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza while opening on an Interpol tour.[2] The three decided to end their commitments to their old bands, move into a shared space, and create a home recording studio together.[1]

The band had an unorthodox songwriting process that began with lyrics, which were then supplemented by the music.[1] 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.[3]

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 Table of the Elements, in addition to a single from Prefuse 73 called "Class of 73 Bells" that features the band.[2] The band then toured with Blonde Redhead and with Prefuse 73.[2]

School of Seven Bells' debut album, Alpinisms, was released one year later in 2008. They then went on tour with Bat for Lashes on her UK Two Suns tour.

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.[4]

Their second album, Disconnect from Desire was released in July 2010. It was hailed by Pitchfork Media.[5] During the accompanying tour, they covered the Siouxsie and the Banshees song "Kiss Them for Me".[6]

The band was awarded International Bet of the Year (Aposta Internacional) at the 2010 MTV Video Music Brasil.

On October 12, 2010, it was announced via the band's Facebook page that Claudia Deheza had left the band due to personal reasons.[7]

On February 28, 2012, their third studio album, Ghostory, was released. It includes the singles "The Night", "Lafaye" and "Scavenger". It is also their first album to be released as a duo.

On November 13, 2012, the EP Put Your Sad Down was released. [8]

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.[9] 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. [10]

Music style[edit]

School of Seven Bells' music is usually described as indie rock, dream pop, shoegazing and electronic. Their sound has been described as dreamy and ethereal, and the lyrics as abstract.

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".[11]


When touring, SVIIB had additional members. Past touring members included James Elliott on bass and Joe Stickney on drums, Allie Alvarado on keyboards/backing vocals, and Christopher Colley on drums.[12]




  • Put Your Sad Down (2012)


  • "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)
  • "The Night" (2012)
  • "Lafaye" (2012)
  • "Scavenger" (2012)


External links[edit]