Call them the ‘School’ of rock

The Brooklyn Paper
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Alejandra Deheza can’t stay in one place too long or else she gets restless.

To boot, in the singer’s 10 years in New York, she’s had nearly as many apartments, from Astoria to the Lower East Side to Bushwick, currently calling Greenpoint home.

It should come as no surprise that the only fault she finds in the neighborhood is its subway service — or lack thereof.

“My only complaint about Greenpoint is the lack of trains,” said Deheza, who, along with her twin sister, Claudia, and guitarist Benjamin Curtis make up the indie band School of Seven Bells. “Otherwise, I love the neighborhood. It’s quiet, which is really good for recording. And I can walk out and not be slapped in the face with everything immediately.”

Greenpoint’s shaping up to be a mainstay in the band’s life — all three live in the neighborhood, taking in the (albeit polluted) waterfront, hanging out at karaoke spots like Manhattan Inn and Williamsburg’s Woods (Buddha help the person who has to follow up the sisters’ angelic pipes), and recording their latest album, “Disconnect from Desire,” in Curtis’s home studio.

Most of that album was written in 2008 while the band was touring in support of its first release, “Alpinisms,” beginning with the first track, “Windstorm,” a soaring, catchy piece of thumping electronics laid under the Dehezas’ smooth, disaffected vocals.

“Ben had been working on it when we were going through Europe,” said Deheza. “When we heard that song we were like, Ok, this works. Let’s do more of this.”

The band decided then and there the song was going to be the first track on the album — a guiding post for the rest to come — and it really only gets better from there, with more atmospheric, often haunting layers and mystical, mesmerizing vocals (the track “Dust Devil” deserves a listen or five).

The trio’s music has a nice dance vibe, and, for the past few months, drummer Zachary Saginaw has brought even more energy to the live show. The band brings it to Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg on Sept. 9 before jetting off on a tour across the United States and Canada. Greenpoint can only keep them for so long before the restlessness kicks in.

“If I’m stuck somewhere for a while, I get really restless. Some might even say that’s a neurosis,” said Deheza. “But traveling is the best thing for writing. After a tour, I have all these images in my head. I can’t stop writing.”

Let’s hope these guys stay on the road as much as possible.

School of Seven Bells at Brooklyn Bowl [61 Wythe Ave. between N. 11th

and N. 12th streets in Williamsburg, (718) 963-3369], Sept. 9 at 9 pm. Tickets $5 in advance, $7 day of show. For info, visit

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Reader Feedback

Hopper from Los S-S says:
Where did they come from?
They don't look American that's for sure.
Sept. 1, 2010, 12:09 pm

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