School of Seven Bells’ Benjamin Curtis dies at 35

Benjamin Curtis, the guitarist and producer behind the dream-pop band School of Seven Bells, died Sunday night in New York after a yearlong battle with T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, reports the Dallas Observer. He was 35.

Curtis was raised in Dallas, where he played in various local acts before he and his brother Brandon co-founded the rock trio Secret Machines, which rose to national acclaim with its 2004 debut LP “Now Here Is Nowhere.”

After leaving that group, he started School of Seven Bells in New York in 2007, with twin-sister vocalists Alejandra and Claudia Deheza. The group’s 2008 debut LP “Alpinisms,” for the indie label Ghostly International, won wide praise for its mix of ethereal vocals, heavily distorted guitars and atmospheric electronics.

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The band moved to the L.A. label Vagrant Records for its 2010 album, “Disconnect From Desire,” and released its final LP, “Ghostory,” in 2012, with Alejandra Deheza as the sole lead vocalist.

In February, the group announced Curtis’ cancer diagnosis, and artists including Devendra Banhart and members of the Strokes and Interpol Banhart participated in fundraising efforts for his treatment. In October, bands including Silversun Pickups, M83, Cocteau Twins and Blonde Redhead wrote messages of support for Curtis during his treatment.


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