School of Seven Bells
Ghostory - VAGRANT
FILTER Grade: 83%
By Kenny S. McGuane on February 27, 2012
After 10 years of New Wave, post-punk and synth-pop revivalism, one of the more striking features of the third School of Seven Bells album, Ghostory, is that it sounds exceedingly familiar. And I mean that in a good way. Like the SVIIB albums before it (2008’s Alpinisms and 2010’s Disconnect from Desire), Ghostory is self-assured, stunningly produced and loaded with hooks, like the blistering and gorgeous first track “The Night,” which sounds like a more pop-oriented and melodically focused Ladytron. The album’s thematic centerpiece, “Lafaye,” is one of nine tracks, all of which deal with what guitarist Benjamin Curtis (formerly of Secret Machines) has called “ghosts” that represent “everything that’s ever happened to you that you haven’t been able to let go of.” Ghostory’s an altogether lush affair with plenty for both fans and newcomers to sift through, not the least of which is Alejandra Deheza’s sensual and airy vocal performance, which sounds like an updated Annie Lennox at best—and just plain good at worst.