While his former bandmates -- and brother Brandon Curtis -- in the Secret Machines prep their"gritty, dirty rock album" for release, guitar whiz Benjamin Curtis, who departed the Machines in early 2007, is entering dream-pop territory with his new project, School of Seven Bells. And though aspects of his former act's digital gloss and psychedelic effects remain, "Face to Face on High Places," a gorgeous gem off the band's debut LP, Alpinisms (out Oct. 28), ditches any hint of brash rock and shoots School of Seven Bells straight into the clouds.
With twins Alejandra and Claudia Deheza (formerly of On! Air! Library!) on vocals, "Face to Face on High Places" floats with electronic, laptop-born flourishes, and peaks with echoing, sliding guitar riffs -- Curtis' specialty. With one foot planted in the past, one in the future, and a record collection steeped in Cocteau Twins LPs, Curtis gracefully validates his departure from the Machines.
Now Hear This: School of Seven Bells, "Face to Face on High Places"