Alpinisms

Shrouded in drone, the entire album is consistently intriguing and enigmatic.

The opening track on School of Seven Bells’ debut album could not be more inaccurate. Titled “Iamundernodisguise,” the song features eerie vocal harmonies and chilling melodies that exhibit every aspect of concealed sorrow, mysterious psychedelics, and masked electronics. Shrouded in drone, the entire album is consistently intriguing and enigmatic. School of Seven Bells’ lush sea of layered instrumentation could easily be called, without irony, a soundscape. Distinguishing the project from the likes of, say, Nico or Azure Ray, Alpinisms is underscored by a soft, electronic, toe-tapping (not foot-stomping) beat. Vocals from twin sisters Claudia and Alejandra Deheza—recognizable from bands A Cloud Mireya and On!Air!Library!—waver between sullen control and heavenly sweetness. Paired with the sometimes weeping, sometimes muted guitar of Secret Machines alum Benjamin Curtis, the effort is a silent storm for whom everyone’s bell should toll.