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Monday, December 10, 2012

Mark’s Pick of the Week Ghostory by School of Seven Bells

           These guys just recently caught my eye since they released a new EP last month.  With the promise of ambient tracks cut with silky steel vocals I decided to give them a try.  I had trouble streaming “Put Your Sad Down” their new EP so I settled on this album they dropped earlier this year.  I’ve got to say, I’m certainly not bitter about having to choose this.
            School of Seven Bells is Benjamin Curtis on guitar/ other unspecified instruments and Alejandra Deheza on vocals.  This is the first album without Alejandra’s twin sister Claudia.  To go from having twin harmonics to just a solo singer could be a bit of a stumbling block for a few bands, but it seems like the now duo has been able to use the new space to stretch their legs a bit more. 
The songs are exactly the catalyst to start a dance party in the pit.  The songs loose themselves in such an effortless ways.  Take “Low Times” that really shines when it lets itself smolder out towards the end. 

I feel that this is a testament to the writers themselves who are certainly not holding anything back or hiding behind any of their sound.  They are right out there in the crowd with everyone else.
Other songs are more content to sit back and bob their heads to the music.  They may not have the ability to move a crowd, but they still have the intensity to hold them down.  “Show Me Love” exemplifies this pretty well. 

The album is supposed to be a concept album, but to be honest I don’t particularly see it.  I don’t normally look to music like this to tell me a story, but rather convey feelings: to me it’s more like a poem then a play.  However, if a bit of plot and character is your thing then you can enjoy rapping your head around the tale Deheza spins around these words. 
The only criticism I could give, if any is the songs are pretty standard.  After the first track you basically know where the rest of the 8 tracks are going.  I’m always a sucker for people who branch off, but at the same time I really dug every track on this album, so I don’t even think I can be mad that these guys kind of stayed on the beaten path.  They got to the other side with a great LP, and that’s really all that matters!
A Picture that's not the album cover (for variety!)

You can check out their tour dates, news, and music (Including their new EP “Put Your Sad Down”) on their website.  I’ll leave you with my current favorite track “Scavenger.”

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