School of Seven Bells – Disconnect from desire
The Skinny: Dreamy. A word you’ll see a lot. Also, poetic lyrics, like describing a lucid dream.
The review proper: Ah, School of Seven Bells, a trio who love their music to be reverberated and enveloping. This second album, Disconnect from desire, is considerably louder than Alpinisms, but hey, who wants the second album to be just the first album repackaged with a different cover?
Of the very beginning, you’re in for a treat. The vocalising attack is already in full gear in ‘Windstorm’, the face punch that opens the album. If you’re a first comer to this band, this is the song that either will pique your interest or go into seclusion.
The groove maintained by the first songs moodily changes with an upbeat jolt, courtesy of ‘Babelonia’, the overdriven song that is as dreamy as they come. The treated vocals, the simple but thunderous guitar riff and the tambourine (classy!) make it quite catchy. As layered as the song is, it keeps building, with more stuff building upon it.
‘Joviann’ is beautiful, like a Monet-coloured skyline, it’s dreamy, with the combination of voices by and the music going for a wall of sound approach (with a few pauses). The track does take its time, though, so the more impatient ones might not dig this.
However, if you want something jittery, go for ‘Camarilla’, swaggering the right combination of guitar with synth work. It’s one of the briskest songs in the whole album, without ever abandoning the ethereal sound that encompasses what School of Seven Bells is.
Lyrics wise, I can’t find any fault, it’s the perfect compliment to such a surreal sound. There’s some sweet moments, and then there’s the defiant declaration that hurts just because it is quite true : “More useless to me than a motto is a creed / ‘Cause this vain imposition is a loaded decision / Hiding in it’s vision a treacherous seed” (from ‘Camarilla’)
‘Dial’ is another prime cut from Disconnect from Desire. There’s no simple way to describe this intricate song and trying to put it in a box that goes into bit or bat genre would be useless. It is breezy and dreamy, simple as that. The music throws a few curveballs (I dig the voice inflection during the “I was relieved” part of the song, going from an angelic tone to a sigh of relief).
There are a couple of songs that didn’t do the trick, though, but then again, it would be improbable to like it as a whole. Maybe ‘Bye bye bye’ would be the only one that I would take out of the mix, as ‘Dust devil’ felt as the stronger twin in the electronica infused song from the album.
‘The wait’ is a perfect album closer for Disconnect from Desire. The instrumentation is sparse, just adding a few strokes here and there, it’s all about the voice(s), and again, the mental imagery of the lyrics. I hate to waffle this review with more lyrics, but here they go “We get so hypnotized by / The imposed rhythms of the passing time / Urgency solely defined by / Degrees of dissatisfaction in our minds”.
It is an album that does require your full attention. As just background music (a common malaise on the consumer-side of today’s music), it’s acceptable, but as a full experience, it’s lush and poetic (check the lyrics for ‘Dial’, really).
About the author : Can’t stop listening to ‘Camarilla‘…