Slumber Party Pics
The recent wave of Gen X-era genres have fared well amongst the electro-this and folk-that saturating the airwaves. Whether your poison is Asobi Seksu, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart or M83, reverb-heavy dream pop has come back stronger than ever. Secret Machine vet Benjamin Curtis’ side project School of Seven Bells breaks this 20 year old mold with Disconnect From Desire.
Tracks like “Windstorm” and “Dust Devil” trick listeners into expecting a shoegaze-y mess of sound from the first couple of seconds, but all the gaps are filled by Alejandra Deheza’s layered harmonies after harmonies slipping in between subtle bits of the bathroom pop we’ve all come to know and love. If “ILU” and “Bye Bye Bye” don’t remind you of the ’90s, then at least wear plaid while listening to this album. These tracks are made with 2 tbs. The Cranberries, 1 tbs. Cocteau Twins and blended together with your big sister’s Clueless soundtrack.
“Camarilla” gets the awkward high school party going with the duo channeling ’80s-era Sade with laid-back 808s and awesomely dated synths weaving through Deheza’s still-layered/textured vocals. By “The Wait,” you’ve finally felt like you’re getting the “dream pop experience” with drowsy build-ups, reverb-kissed vocals and sleep-inducing repetition.
One could say it’s too late to save the album from being too “clear” and not dampened by an overwhelming wall of sound, but the subtle bits of dreaminess sprinkled throughout Disconnect From Desire show the group doesn’t need to drown out to rock out.