s recordings seem to jump genres with ease. If you love one record you might not love the next. But you can be sure that each one, at the very least, will be interesting. Her latest record, Island Fire, came out May 29. There are already two videos out. One of these, Flood and a Fire, is mixed in with the photos below.These pictures were taken when Ray opened for Ane Brun at Lincoln Hall on May 22, 2012--the last day of the North American tour. Ray played the tour with herself on guitar and vocals and a drummer. It was very stripped down! It is also a testament to her talent that it worked.How does she take a song with a sort of loungey-electronic vibe and pull it off with just her and a guitar? I do not know but she does. She also did a Mudhoney cover, which earns bonus points.
Ray's music might get lumped in with that wave of nostalgia for all things 50s and 60s in the UK over the past few years. It shouldn't be. There is much more going on here than just that. I am not always sure what but it is certainly more. The first video off of Island Fire, was for the track, Rescue Me. Watch it to try to make sense of what I am babbling about when it comes to nostalgia.
For one while there is a certain "nostalgia" vibe in the music I am not entirely sure it is for a time or place that ever, in fact, existed. She is an excellent vocalist and guitarist and has a definite presence on stage.
It is to be hoped that Ray will return to the USA soon with a full band. This isn't to suggest there is a THING wrong with how she toured this time. She was great but it would be interesting to hear her songs fleshed out with a full band a second time.
School of Seven Bells
are one of the best bands out there right now. The bring a blend of pop, dance and ambient and mix in high concept song writing. There is even something a little FUNKY in there somewhere (which is amazing for a band with no And to make things even better they are a fantastic live band.There are a lot of bands out there these days who mix dance music with pop or rock or calypso or whatever. T
hat is all well and good but, very often, there are seems and glitches, both figuratively and literally, in the music.School of Seven Bells' music and performance is seemless and glitchless.
They do not sound like they are trying to be anything. They just are
School of Seven Bells formed six years ago. Alejandra Deheza and Benjamin Curtis remain from the early days. You may recollect Curtis from Secret Machines and Deheza from on! air! library! Their first record was Alpinisms (2008) which was followed by Disconnect From Desire. Ghostory, released earlier this year, is the band’s third record.
One guy in the audience had been shopping in a nearby CVS and saw the band on the marquee and bought a ticket. Others, a diverse group, talked between the opening act and School of Seven Bells about seeing them opening for Interpol or Blonde Redhead. Apparently, anyone who sees them wants to see them again and again, Everyone had a story about how they first came to hear the band.
In addition to the recently released, Ghostory, the band put out a cover of the Siouxsie and the Banshees track, Kiss Them For Me, as a 7 inch. That release came out on Record Store Day and was limited to a 1,000 copies. They still had a handful at the Chicago show.