Exposure: School of Seven Bells

Exposure: School of Seven Bells

School of Seven Bells formed in 2007 after Secret Machines guitarist Ben Curtis met identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Dehaza, then part of On! Air! Library! Now the three-piece make dreamy soundscapes and stunning celestial pop, with ambient melodies sighing over glitchy electronica and droning guitars. Alley dodges Brooklyn traffic to explain more down the phone.

School of Seven Bells formed in 2007 after Secret Machines guitarist Ben Curtis met identical twins Alejandra and Claudia Dehaza, then part of On! Air! Library! Now the three-piece make dreamy soundscapes and stunning celestial pop, with ambient melodies sighing over glitchy electronica and droning guitars. Alley dodges Brooklyn traffic to explain more down the phone.

What made you want to work with Ben?

‘We met on tour, both our bands were opening for Interpol. The way he played was very different. He doesn’t play in a bluesy format, which a lot of rock bands do, he’s extremely creative with pedals and textures. He doesn’t do anything by the book, he really goes for it.’

Your sister and you seem to work really well together, both writing and performing. Is one person in charge of writing lyrics or melodies, or do you share?
‘We all write together. Claudia and I write in journals and notebooks, then we’ll try lyrics out with a particular instrument and take it from there. We’ve been singing together since we were two. She was really into Paula Abdul growing up, and really wanted to get on this show called Star Search [laughs]. I was probably more into The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel.’

You’ve also toured with your friend, hip hop and electronic producer Prefuse 73. When did you start getting into electronic music?
‘We listened to a lot of Miami-based radio growing up in South Florida. That’s when we first heard a lot of really good hip hop and beat oriented music. The melody is really important too. That’s the way a song gets inside someone’s head. Certain melodies are really easy to absorb. I think it’s really important just to create an atmosphere, a certain mood.’

School of Seven Bells play the Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Tue 24 Feb and support Bat For Lashes at QMU, Glasgow, Wed 8 Apr.

School of Seven Bells and Churches

Ex-Secret Machines man Benjamin Curtis is joined by sweetly harmonising Alejandra Deheza in this ethereal band named after a mythical South American school for pickpockets.

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