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Dream pop tolls for Sydney’s Death Bells

Death Bells happy

Sydney via Brisbane five-piece dreamboats Death Bells have only released one single but there is little doubt that they are on their way to greatness. Cutting their musical teeth as past members of Sundial, Low Season, Hopelestown, Time Crisis and Upperground, Death Bells are old souls despite having just said goodbye to their teenage years. Recently getting together, these gents blend the song writing ethos of Northern England in the early 1990s with the hazy suburbs of Sydney’s inner city, all executed with modern production and attention to detail.

Death Bells

Death Bells only have on track, but they manage to capture a nostalgic, dreamy sound and conjures fleeting images of adolescence, love and loss.

The guys have only released one track You, Me & Everyone In Between, with a video to complement it, made by the talented filmographer Callum Van De Mortel, and damn they seem like a bunch of BAMFs. Produced by their drummer John Buckley, the single sounds nostalgic, dreamy and conjures fleeting images of adolescence, love and loss that you look back on and smile.

The video starts off with cut up visuals and audio snippets from Chinese karaoke video clips and keeps referring back to them throughout the entire clip. Perhaps this an ode to the band name, which is also the name of a gory Korean horror flick, that if you haven’t watched, you should. A fuzzy guitar hook interjects over some pretty huge sounding drums and then finally and most importantly, Maurice Santiago’s washed out mature-sounding vocals. Dressed to the nines in all white you can’t help but be reminded of perhaps a mix between The Smiths (especially thanks to Maurice’s hair-do) and a more dark and contemplative Backstreet Boys. Visually, it’s a mix of VCR-looking footage and slowed down shots of the band surrounded by their mates.

Take what you want from it; the band has a clear message they’re trying to put across in the clip. They told me, quite eloquently too, that “The clip is basically a satirical view of over-narcissistic boy band culture… you can see it in the clip through Moz’s (Maurice’s) self absorption, all the alcohol consumption, pretty young girls. The karaoke bar as a setting is an ironic stab at Western privilege and hedonism in Eastern culture and I guess it’s a play on the fetishisation of boy bands in the Eastern world”.

Dreamy, poppy and reminiscent of acts like DIIV, Blouse and Craft Spells, Death Bells have emerged with their promising single You, Me & Everyone In Between, released independently, with a nostalgic video to go with it.

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April 16, 2015