School of Seven Bells recently released a new video for “Ablaze,” a track on the band’s latest album SVIIB. The song narrates the story of Alejandra Deheza and Benjamin Curtis relationship, before his tragic death from lymphoma in 2013. Deheza muses, “The day we met / I was a new fire / Whose heart had been / Drowning for so long…” in a tone that is more appreciative than forlorn. The lyrics and beating synths result in a surprisingly joyful elegy sure to evoke a sense of wistful euphoria to any fan of the group.
According to Vice, the video for the song was directed by Alan Del Rio Ortiz, whose resume includes work for Danny Brown, St. Vincent, Major Lazer, and Blood Orange. The clips plays like a worn VHS, complete with damaged black spots, pixelation, washed out colors, and blurry movement.
Deheza discusses the video, and the process of piecing it together, stating:
“Casing out Chinatown, Filipinotown, stealing psychic storefronts, constellations of lanterns, ghosting through parties, and ducking into bars between the stitches—I find it all put back together like a night sweating out a fever. My fever. It feels like I’m throwing the story back to myself, checked by life, through a long spell of dreaming. Much needed. Buenas Noches Amores. Thank you, Alan Del Rio, for the hot coals. Enjoy, Friends.”
SVIIB was released in February, following the release of single “On My Heart” back in January. It is the fourth album from the band, which now only consists of Deheza after the departure of twin sister Claudia Deheza and death of Curtis. Many have speculated that the album will be the band’s last, but Deheza has not yet confirmed reports that she is putting School of Seven Bells to rest just yet. Throughout their career, School of Seven Bells created music that was classified under the labels of indie rock, dream pop, shoegaze and electronic. Critics and fans praised the band for their ethereal sound and intriguingly vague lyrics.