Ghostory by School of Seven Bells
In 2010, School of Seven Bells downsized when the band lost Claudia Deheza, one of the twins who fronted the outfit, who left citing personal reasons. SVIIB was left without the bewitching harmonies created by Claudia and her sister Alejandra, a sound that fans had become so accustomed to. Claudia’s departure could have held back Alejandra and band mate Benjamin Curtis. Instead, the band’s new release Ghostory finds the duo tighter than ever.
The new version of SVIIB hold their own on Ghostory, an album that combines elements from their previous works. But this time around there is a more intense focus on specializing their own brand of synth pop. Ghostory is essentially a concept album that tells the story of a young girl named Lafaye and the ghosts that haunt her life.
The album opens with “The Night,” an upbeat pop song that leads into “Love Play,” a song featuring the seductive, breathy sounds of Alejandra’s unwavering voice. The third track, “Lafaye,” is the anchor of the album's narrative. The song gives the listener a peak into Lafaye’s life and the internal struggles she goes through with her ghosts. These three songs inflict feelings of longing and sadness for the things that are unattainable, and the listener wants more of the relatable, superb tunes.
SVIIB produce wispy, indulgent songs that lull listeners into a daze of electro-pop goodness. They make listeners want to nod their heads and sway along to the beat. Ghostory as an album is a combination of nostalgia for earlier shoegaze and human emotion with a pinch of something ethereal. For fans of late 80s synth pop, mid 90s ambient pop or sighing vocals, SVIIB have put out an album worth a good listen.