August 22 2014

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2 posts tagged "School of Seven Bells"

The Road To Bonnaroo: Alejandra Deheza


Bonnaroo, one of the summer’s hottest music festivals (literally), takes place this weekend in Manchester, Tennessee. Year after year, the fest hosts some of the best artists around, everyone from Lil Wayne and Eminem to Florence + the Machine to The Strokes (and that’s just this year). As they head down south, checked in with a few of our favorite artists to see what they’re packing to beat the heat in style.

Karen Elson is bringing her Nashville twang to Bonnaroo. School of Seven Bells‘ Alejandra Deheza, a fellow first-timer at the festival, is bringing her dreamy Brooklyn pop sounds—and plenty of dark clothes. “It’s pretty much all black,” Deheza says of her onstage style. “When I was a kid, I was really into goth, so it’s probably my inner goth coming out.”

School of Seven Bells first won acclaim for their 2008 debut, Alpinisms. Now holed up in a Williamsburg recording studio working on their upcoming, “more dance-y” third album, Deheza and guitarist Benjamin Curtis are taking some time off to tour (and, if they’re lucky, see a fellow festival act or two). “I have never been to Bonnaroo, not as a fan or performer,” Deheza tells “I really want to see Lil Wayne—I have never seen a spectacle like that before.” Here’s what she’s planning to bring with her to the spectacle:

A black poncho from NYC’s Oak. “One thing I always wear is this black hoodie poncho from Oak. It has a really long tube for a hood and you look really witchy wearing it.” (Above: Oak Baja funnel neck poncho, $88, available at

Quay Eyeware Australia sunglasses. “We are playing at night, so the sun won’t be so bad. But if I need them, I will wear these Quay gold-frame sunglasses—they’re my favorite. I picked these up at Oak, too. Do you see a theme here? It’s this perfect one-stop place.” (Above: For more information, visit

Nom and Ada leather creeper mocs. “I picked up these shoes for the summer; the designers live in Portland, and they are fans of our music. They are leather and really comfortable. They kind of look like little girls’ shoes.” (Above: For more information, visit

Vintage copper bracelets. “I wear a lot of vintage copper bracelets. Copper always looks great in the summer. I like to get them from Malin Landaeus, a vintage store on Bedford Avenue—they have so many good ones to choose from.” (For store hours and location, visit

Photos: Abbey Drucker/Courtesy of School of Seven Bells (portrait); (poncho); (sunglasses); (shoes)

School of Seven Bells Chimes In


The members of School of Seven Bells wear matching watches. These aren’t just any watches. As guitarist Benjamin Curtis explains, they were made by a friend searching for new ways of telling time. Curtis’ does so by means of digital bubbles. The one worn by bandmate Alejandra Deheza employs vertical bars. Deheza’s twin sister and co-vocalist Claudia is out, but Deheza assures me that hers is equally esoteric. Says Curtis, “I’ve been wearing this thing every day, and even now, I’m not sure what time it is.” As an analogy for the music on the band’s debut LP, Alpinisms, the watches are too good to pass up. Songs such as “Connjur” and “Half Asleep” manage the mean feat of making the familiar mysterious. They lean on the sounds of Krautrock, vintage Cocteau Twins, and Warp Records-inspired electronica without falling into any of those exact grooves.

Indie rock fanatics who know Curtis and the Deheza sisters from their previous bands, Secret Machines and On! Air! Library!, may pick up hints of those sounds, too. But the similarities shape-shift almost as soon as they’re recognized. Alpinisms, in short, is music that tells its own time. Last night, School of Seven Bells kicked off a national tour opening for M83, and on Friday, they return to New York for a hometown show at Webster Hall; in the meantime, Curtis and Deheza talk to about falling in love, building houses, and making a surprising amount of noise.

You were both members of bands with decent followings. How did you wind up exiting those projects and starting School of Seven Bells?
Benjamin Curtis: Our bands toured together in 2004, with Interpol, too, and we all kind of fell in love with idea of making music together.

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