Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Jun 10th 2010 10:00AM by Kenneth Partridge
Another possibility: She and her twin sister, Claudia, a keyboardist, singer and laptop technician, are natives of Guatemala. Guitarist Benjamin Curtis, meanwhile, hails from Oklahoma and made his name with the Dallas three-piece Secret Machines. Neither he nor the Deheza girls have any real Brooklyn roots and maybe they don't yet feel like New Yorkers.
Third -- and here's where things get psychological -- Alejandra and Claudia are self-professed lucid dreamers, people capable of realizing when they're dreaming and playing active roles in their nightly subconscious adventures. It's a fitting skill for the leaders of a dream-pop band, and it may well prevent the sisters from calling home anywhere but the fantastical worlds that exist within their own minds.
Admittedly, that last one is a little far-fetched, but watching the trio play through much of 'Disconnect From Desire,' due out next month on Vagrant, it seemed at least somewhat possible. Starting with 'Windstorms,' the forthcoming disc's leadoff track, School of Seven Bells unveiled music rhythmically and sonically denser and more discombobulating than anything on its excellent 2008 debut, 'Alpinisms.'
'Windstorms,' like many of the new tunes, pumped a mammoth dance beat, an electronic pulse doubled by a live drummer. Over the top, Claudia played a synth whose setting conjured a breathy angel choir. This was music not of Brooklyn, Guatemala or Dallas, but someplace altogether different.
On 'Jovian,' another 'Disconnect' cut, Alejandra's distorted guitar chords contrasted with the purity and light of her sister's heavenly keyboard tones. 'Bye Bye Bye,' which began with those titular words, recited in time with the tune's harsh rhythm, invoked late-'80s Madonna, an influence, perhaps, on Alejandra's solo vocals. When her sister joined in, the song morphed into an exotic space jam, rocketing away from the Material Girl's standard pop conventions.
During the encore, it all came crashing back to earth. The piped-in bass throbbed. Curtis worked his instrument like a welder, drawing high-pitched metal-on-metal squeals. The drummer did his best to overpower Claudia's digital onslaught, and the line between dream and nightmare began to disappear. As always, the Dehezas were in complete control.