The fourth and final LP from School of Seven Bells was completed without main songwriter Benjamin Curtis, who sadly died young in 2013. But it’s a fine record, and the opening track, Ablaze, is a highlight from 2016 - a year of many highlights.
Benjamin Curtis formed School of Seven Bells with twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza after leaving his brother Brandon’s band, (The) Secret Machines (sometimes using the definite article in their name, sometimes not).
SVIIB became a duo when Claudia left after the band’s second LP Disconnect From Desire. But just a year after its 2012 follow-up Ghostory, Curtis was diagnosed with Lymphoma, from which he never recovered.
He had recorded some demos for the fourth album by the time he passed away in late 2013, at just 35. Deheza toolk these and completed the record, which was released in that wonderful year of fine music 2016.
Style-wise, it’s a bit indie, a bit electronic, a bit shoegazy, a bit pop. It’s a combo I’ve long had a soft spot for!