American shoegaze duo School of Seven Bells are back on the scene with their spooky new album, “Ghostory.” As the title suggests, the LP draws inspiration from everything creepy and mysterious.
School of Seven Bells sticks with the gothic electronica that made their last album, “Disconnect From Desire,” a beautiful and ethereal listening experience. Lead singer Alejandra Deheza’s angelic vocals float over the ominous synthetic elements. She sets herself apart as the lone human element in a world of sound crafted almost exclusively from majestic computerized effects and tones.
“Lafaye,” the album’s frontrunner single, is one of “Ghostory’s” heavier tunes. The track eases into the ear with twinkling synthesizer tones and pitch-bending guitars. Rapid-fire cymbals launch the song into the top gear as even more synthesizers clash together to transform the track into an electric spectacle.
One of the album’s eeriest tracks is “Reappear.” Strong synthesizer chords set the tone as the band manipulates waves of other effects. Deheza’s vocals dance in and out of the sonic ether, adding to the chill factor.
“Ghostory” reflects School of Seven Bells’ appreciation for precision. Each layer of sound is deliberate and completely necessary. While there may seem to be a plethora of textures and rhythms, remove one and the entire track could easily crumble and lose its luster. Each background guitar line and additional drum riff adds to the overall complexity.
All in all, “Ghostory” is another victory for School of Seven Bells. After hearing the album, listeners may find themselves wondering if those chills are from the music or some leering specter in the shadows