SLEIGH BELLS are just a duo — Derek on beat production, guitars, and songwriting; Alexis Krauss on vocals — but their tracks ram together many sonic worlds. Their electronic beats thud with gut-rattling low end; guitars are distorted siren squalls, or heavily gated and thoroughly crunched power chords, or playful, beta-band-esque strums. Krauss flips easily from hip-hop hook, to pop power, to sunshined, coquettish coos.
Past members of Sleigh Bells went on to form buzz-band Surfer Blood. Derek’s old hardcore band Poison The Well toured with Give Up The Ghost, the defunct hardcore outfit of past BTW Cold Cave’s Wes Eisold. Alexis Krauss is a school teacher with a pop-singer past. All of which gives certain strength to their reinvention in this excellent new outfit.
Their combustible pop is finely razed by Alexis Krauss’s outsized yet totally natural stage presence.
Plus support from THE KNOCKS, who through a series of remixes, blog leaks and warehouse parties, are rapidly becoming the hottest new pop production unit in NY. They have worked with a variety of artists; from Ellie Goulding to Sunday Girl, White Tie Affair to Sky Ferreira, New York’s Samuel and others.
Courtesy of producers Neon Gold (Ellie Goulding, Marina, Passion Pit), their first single Make It Better cut through the summer season with the Balearic influence of Empire of the Sun’s ‘Walking on a Dream’ paired with the whistling hooks of Peter Bjorn and John’s ‘Young Folks’.