School of Seven Bells, "Disconnect From Desire"

90 Billboard Rating

It's hard to imagine School of Seven Bells turning to Brian Eno's list of "Oblique Strategies" for inspiration. Because from the sound of its new album, it used his "disconnect from desire" suggestion in title alone. This kinetic collection of delectable dream pop and dance-inflected art rock follows through and then some on the band's 2008 debut, "Alpinisms." Opener/single "Windstorm" is aptly titled, the guitars and synths whirling and twirling as singer/guitarist Alejandra Deheza takes the lead in lieu of the band's usual, literal twin-voice approach with her sister, keyboardist Claudia. Still, there's no resisting their entwined voices; they're an ethereal force singing of farewells both devastating (the gorgeous My Bloody Valentine nod "I L U") and dismissive (the freestyle-esque "Bye Bye Bye"). Ex-Secret Machines guitarist Benjamin Curtis infuses the tracks with subtle, hypnotic parts ("Babelonia" and "Dust Devil" in particular), and they're paired with heartfelt lyrics that speak to one's inner self. For the listener, disconnecting will be all but impossible.