School of Seven Bells (often just SVIIB) is a dream pop/shoegazing band
which formed in 2007 in Brooklyn, New York, United States. The band
consists of Alejandra Deheza (vocals, bass), Claudia Deheza (vocals,
keyboards) and Benjamin Curtis (guitar). The Deheza sisters are former
members of On!Air!Library! and Curtis is a former member of Secret Machines and Tripping Daisy. The band is named after the School of the Seven Bells, a mythical South American pickpocket training academy.
Curtis and the Deheza sisters met when both were opening on an Interpol tour. The three decided to end their commitments to their old bands, move in to a shared space, and create a home recording studio together.
Their sound has been described as dreamy and ethereal, and the lyrics as abstract. Singer, Deheza, insists that the lyrics are not. However, that she is a lucid dreamer is fitting of the lofty-sounds they create.
The band has an unorthodox song writing process that begins with lyrics, which are only supplemented by the music. Curtis has 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 (see 3:50s).
In concert, Curtis, who stays mostly on lead guitar can often be seen manipulating various electronic devices in between guitar segments.
A single My Cabal was released in May 2007 on the UK label Sonic Cathedral.
A 12”/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.
The band toured with Blonde Redhead in September, 2007 and with Prefuse 73 in November, 2007.
School of Seven Bells’ debut album, Alpinisms, was released by Ghostly International in the U.S. on October 28, 2008. It is available as both a physical and digital release.
The band is recently performed at the WIDR Barking Tuna Festival on October 18, 2008; they are currently touring the U.S. with M83