School of Seven Bells were a New York City duo made up of singer Alley Deheza and guitarist Benjamin Curtis. They're not together anymore—Alley lives in LA and Ben passed away at the end of 2013. Theirs is a heartbreaking tale, but it's also totally magical and uplifting—just like their music. If you want to read the whole story then here it is, but first check out the video for "Signals." It's a sparkling synth-pop song with beats that slap like a palm to a thigh, while Alley's hypnotic melodies run ahead in the verse, forcing you to follow, and thrilling in the chorus. As for the video, directed by Daniel Ryan, well there's Alley with her Cleopatra hair, chasing after herself, losing herself to dance, and then eerily, she's pulled apart and reassembled. A visual metaphor for the healing process? Maybe… And then that final frame on the closed guitar case. Fuck, it's a killer.
"'Signals' is a 100 percent love song to all of the music that woke us up as kids—that woke us up to the fact that music wasn't other, that it was in our blood, that got us stalking record stores, sneaking into 21 and over shows, obsessing over Melody Makers in the public library, listening through radio countdowns (Power 96 MIA!) just to get to THAT song, the thrill of getting to play with our heroes—a total mixtape of love and thank yous," explains Ally. "Favorite moment on the record. Making a video for this was a definite from its first day in the studio. Daniel was in LA working on a film, so we grabbed dinner. I remember he asked me, 'If you could make a video for any song on this record, what would it be?' I didn't even have to think about it."
Watch below, and really, truly, please go listen to their final LP SVIIB because it really is that good.