School of Seven Bells
Put Your Sad Down EP
Twelve-and-a-half minutes is just too damn long for a song, I’m sorry. Unless you’re high (which I’m not), or a 15-year-old with insomnia (not in years), anything over the seven-minute mark is just asking too much of the average listener’s attention span. So it stands that the opening title track on School of Seven Bells’ Put Your Sad Down has not gotten nearly as much air time on my speakers as the other four tracks on this otherwise superbly groove-sexy EP. If only I were equipped with the skills to whittle the first 10 minutes off — and store it away for future sleepless nights when I need a spellbinding groove to swim my mind through — then “Put Your Sad Down” would get much more play because the core of the song, which rounds out the last couple of minutes, is some of the perkiest pop these guys have given us yet.
Instead, I mostly sink my teeth into “Secret Days,” “Faded Hearts,” and “Painting A Memory,” a trio of bass and beat confections that shows the School of Seven Bells at their most fun and frolicy. School of Seven Bells’ usual arsenal is all in attendance: trance loops, the band-defying haunting sound of Alejandra Deheza’s vocals, and so much synthesizer pop dreaminess that both New Order and Erasure could charge their batteries on Benjamin Curtis’ outtakes. There’s even an eerie hypno dance cover of the late ’60s psychedelic/electronic band Silver Apples slipped into the mix as a bonus (“Lovefingers”). Never heard of Silver Apples? Me neither, but after digging up the 1968 original track of this song, my interest has been sparked for more. The lineage of dreamy electronic pop swirls deeper back than I would have expected.
School of Seven Bells: bringing obscure, trippy sixties experimental rock into the 21st Century. One more reason to adore this New York City pair.
School of Seven Bells: www.sviib.com