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School of Seven Bells Alpinisms

  • Words: Janet Tzou
  • Label: Ghostly International
  • XLR8R Rating: 8/10

Named after a mythological Andean pickpocket academy, this Brooklyn trio has uncovered a rich nexus between humming shoegaze guitar, floaty and ethereal 4AD pop, and the wistful exuberance of ’90s Manchester. The Bells ooze as much Cocteau Twins as My Bloody Valentine (“Half Asleep”), but unlike their shoegaze influences, there’s little world-weariness here; just an optimistic yearning for something more (the bright, earnest cadences on “My Cabal” assure us that melancholy is a tired business, indulged by those who can’t cut it as dreamers). These warm soundscapes might be purely fanciful–where feelings sound elastic and still unbroken–but they’re so cozy that we don’t mind lingering for a while. Dream pop, indeed: We’ll take a unicorn to go, please.

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