Benjamin Curtis, of the duo School of Seven Bells, died last week from cancer.
Thank you, Ben, for writing such an amazing song “Windstorm” — here’s a live acoustic version:
Saturday May 5th, I caught Exitmusic opening for School of Seven Bells at Le Poisson Rouge.
I was impressed with the force and power that Exitmusic exuded. Exitmusic’s songs would be perfect for the soundtrack of a movie – the music was dark, brooding, and cinematic.
Unique aspects of the set: The drummer played an electric bass drum, and the guitarist played with a violin bow on one song.
“The Hours” stuck out as the band’s best song. Check out a live version on KEXP:
“Windstorm,” a song on School of Seven Bells’ sophomore album, is one of the most unique-sounding songs in my iTunes library.
The distorted melody that begins the song announces immediately that this song is different — it’s unrecognizable and hard to tell if a machine, guitar on overdrive, or human voice is producing this hook.
The vocals initially sound like they’re not in English but in some other more ethereal and musical language.
Entering the song unexpectedly in the first verse (0:35), the drums are heavy on the snare and sound like they could be played on a drum machine.
The chorus’s lyrical repetition and sparse instrumentation contributes to the song’s ethereal, chant-like feeling.
Sonically, the zenith of the song for me is at 2:35, when two separate vocal arrangements overlap (chorus + verse) creating a musical round that evokes feelings of prayer and meditation.
Live version of “Windstorm” below: