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School of Seven Bells: “Windstorm” Analysis

“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┬ásome 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:

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