Wednesday, 7 July 2010

School of Seven Bells - ‘Disconnect from Desire’ (Full Time Hobby)

Benjamin Curtis made a bold decision in leaving The Secret Machines to form his own side project in School of Seven Bells. But, as much to the disappointment of his previous band’s loyal fans, he was soon to be forgiven as his current project have now delivered two records of exquisite beauty. I do like it when an album of such pure Pop value grabs my attention this instantly. SVIIB release their follow up to their 2008 Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush 80’s inspired debut ‘Alpinisms’ of which I feel shows a more mature and nourished sound. ‘Disconnect from Desire’ portrays moments of Dream Pop brilliance from start to finish and if this doesn’t feature in the majority of the end of year top albums list then I don’t know what will.

The album begins with wailing choir sounds blending with the hypnotic guitars. The first single ‘Windstorm’ is launched into some lush harmonies from twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza that leads the album well. Already a regular feature on the BBC 6music play list ‘Windstorm’ will hopefully the beginning of some affectionate nationwide exposure. And it does not stop there. The record consistently combines electronica sounds with Britpop melodies (despite residing from New York). ‘ILU’ which for me is my favourite track on the LP, is a gorgeous example of radio friendly pop music that sounds like it could be mix tape alongside the likes of Slowdive and Dubstar. ‘Babelonia’ shows an eighties disco feel with a vocal performance that Stereolab would have been proud of, that heads a new found disco influence as opposed more shoe gaze sound that featured on ‘Alpinisms‘.

A prominent feature on ‘Disconnect from Desire’ is the pounding electronic drum beat. ‘Heart is Strange’ ‘Babelonia’ and ‘Camarilla’ all provide some distinction on the albums sound. The trio have shown bravery in showing a variation of sound on this release whilst still maintaining the sweet tenderness in the Deheza sisters’ vocals. However, I have a feeling that this album will receive a mixed reaction from the followers of the much loved ‘Alpinisms’ due it’s slightly more softer approach and lack of 11 minute pop soundscapes. I however, am much in favour of this record’s overall sound.

The unique thing about ‘Disconnect from Desire’ is that it wouldn’t sound out of place on Radio 2. ‘Bye Bye Bye’ I can even picture being played on that station this very moment and that’s not to say it’s a sign of my old age because it could be appealing to the average Radio 2 listener as well as young keen music enthusiasts. SVIIB have yet again managed to produce another album of sheer Pop brilliance without duff moment in hearing. This record should be huge.

Words: Freddy Rothman

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