Discoveries in music are rarely made outside of YouTube or MySpace anymore. Usually, the music robots in the A&R departments that still exist decide what the public needs and manufactures it for them. But with Brooklyn noise pop duo Sleigh Bells, it was as though, for a split second in time, the fates saw fit to separate them from the other hipster scum pervading every inch of Williamsburg.
Even though Sleigh Bells somehow seems to have been around for a long period of time, the band was spawned from the frenetic mind of Derek E. Miller just three years ago. With one album under their belt (Treats, a must have for anyone who isn’t hearing impaired), the seamless collaboration between the musical and vocal stylings of Miller and Alexis Krauss make for one of the finest examples of the gritty paired with the sweet producing an ideal aural result.
In 2008, Derek E. Miller spotted little ol’ Alexis Krauss at a Brazilian restaurant called Miss Favela on South 5th and Wythe (the restaurant, surprisingly, still exists). As Miller waited on her table, the two struck up a conversation and Miller mentioned he was looking for a female vocalist for his latest project. Krauss’ background was strictly pop (she was a member of a girl group called Rubyblue), while Miller was an adherent of experimental rock via his band Poison the Well.
With such diverse inclinations in sonic approach, one would think that a collaboration between the two would prove fatal and uneventful, but the resulting EP that Sleigh Bells came out with in December of 2009 negated such a theory. Featuring several tracks that would appear on Treats (“Ring Ring”–later to be called “Rill Rill”–”Crown on the Ground,” “Infinity Guitars,” “Beach Girls”–renamed “Kids” on the full-length album–and “A/B Machines”), the self-titled EP was propelled by their recent performances at the CMJ Music Festival, and garnered the attention of M.I.A.’s label N.E.E.T. Recordings.
After a solid year of touring in promotion of Treats (released on May 11, 2010), Sleigh Bells has taken a brief hiatus to record their sophomore album, slated to be released in early 2012 (you know, pending the whole universe not blowing up thing). Behind the Hype awaits with bated breath for the next slew of loud guitar riffs and dulcet refrains from the most loveable musical duo since, hmm, Hall & Oates maybe. That’s a big maybe though.