My favorite kind of music is headphone music -- music that sounds best when pumped through a personal sound system meant only for your ears. Not all music is headphone music. Jay-Z, for example, is definitely not headphone music. Hova should be blasted in your car, through some hi-fi speakers and a big ass woofer. Jazz records are at optimum sonic performance played the old-fashioned way, on a turntable, where a little imperfection -- a wobble or a skip -- makes perfection. So, what qualifies as "headphone" music? It's music that is so lyrically and musically pleasing to your senses that you want nothing to distract you; it's when you lay down on your bed, close your eyes and forget about that Johnny Depp/Pirates of the Caribbean poster you taped to you ceiling four years ago (not that I did this). My recent headphone music obsession is Alpinisms (Ghostly Int'l), the debut album from School of Seven Bells, a Brooklyn-based band made up of twin sisters Alejandra and Claudia Deheza and ex-Secret Machines guitarist, Benjamin Curtis.
Together the three create soundscapes full of swirly guitars, hypnotic harmonies, trance beats and sonic resonance. The Deheza sisters' ethereal vocals are so otherworldly that it makes me hope this is what aliens sound like when they sing. Best said, Alpinisms is the soundtrack to a dream: the good parts, the weird parts, the surreal parts, and the part where you wake up and want to go back to sleep. Lucky for us, we can just hit the repeat button and start all over again.
But enough of my yammering. Listen to the appropriately titled "Half Asleep." Now! And then head over to their MySpace page for more tracks and tour dates.
photo credit: Amanda Merten