School Of Seven Bells School Of Seven BellsGhostory
Much to everyone's surprise, in October 2010, Claudia Deheza, the ethereal voice and keyboardist of School Of Seven Bells, decided to call it quits. After two albums of shoegaze-infused dream-pop, circumstances (or rather, personal reasons that were never clarified) forced her to make a decision. There were only two options for the band after that: disband or reinvent themselves. They went for the latter. Alejandra Deheza, Claudia's twin sister, stepped up as the new vocal squire for Benjamin Curtis (also a member of Secret Machine), and the truth is that on the new synthetic fantasy that is “Ghostory”, lighter and easier to digest than its predecessors, Claudia's presence isn't missed at all.
The new tracks by the now duo confirm their taste for eighties-like synth-pop and bubbly electro-pop, something that could already be sensed, albeit somewhat more hidden, on “Disconnect From Desire” (Vagrant, 2010). If not, check the New Order-ish “The Night” and “White Wind”. The reverb has faded, the bass resounds more than ever and the synth lines emphasise a clear Ladytron complex on “Low Times” (which would have been better, had they cut off those repetitive final minutes).
Three quarters of the album seems to be meant for more introspective dance floors, with “Lafaye” (in which all the lyrics are about ghosts haunting the fictitious lead character) as the starting point. Eventually, the band proves well at home in the field of sonic dreams in the vein of M83 on “Reappear” and “Show Me Love”, two pieces of inflection that serve to take a deep breath for the final part, where the pattern of the first four tracks is repeated. In short, School Of Seven Bells return with an effort on which, while removing some of the characteristics of their early works, they show once more that they're as good as they ever were, and even more danceable than before.