Sleigh Bells are a rock duo based in Brooklyn, New York, USA who formed in 2008. They are known for their noise-pop sound featuring simple pop hooks sang over impossibly loud, distorted beats and punk guitar riffs.
Kids, you never know what can happen when you’re dining with your mother. Look at Sleigh Bells; they’re a picture perfect example of that, I mean, an evening out with your mum leading to the formation of quite possibly the least parent friendly band working today? It would be ridiculous if it was fictional but it’s not, and putting aside any notion of parent-friendliness, Sleigh Bells also happen to be one of the most badass bands working today as well. Few bands can muster the kind of aural assault of the Brooklyn duo with an entire quintet, and Sleigh Bells do it with a guy, a girl, a whole lot of Marshall amp stacks, an Ibanez guitar and a backing track. It’s a pretty astonishing sight and sound, that’s for sure.
Their sound makes a lot of sense when you know their history. Singing lead vocals is New Jersey native Alexis Krauss, who’d been trying to make a career in performing since childhood and had a background in theatre and television. From the age of twelve to sixteen she was in the teen pop group RubyBlue but once that band broke up, she put her aspiration’s to one side in order to focus on teaching and studying. So Krauss brings the pop hooks, where does the outrageous heaviness come from? That’d be guitarist Derek Miller.
The Florida native spent six years in the experimental hardcore band Poison The Well, leaving in 2004 due to creative differences. He spent four years writing songs and coming up with an idea for a band featuring him and a female singer. However, by 2008 he was working as a waiter in a Brazilian bistro in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the same bistro that Krauss took her mother to for an evening out in July of that year. Miller waited the table of Krauss and her mother and got talking with them, when he mentioned that he was thinking of putting together a band with a female singer Krauss’s mother immediately volunteered her daughter for the role. With that, Sleigh Bells were born.
The two began working together, Krauss putting a Rhodes Scholarship to one side in order to work with Miller, and by the end of 2009, they’d signed to M.I.A’s record label N.E.E.T Recordings. They released their self-titled debut EP and were almost immediately courted by The Guardian, The New York Times, Pitchfork and many others. Since then they’ve been one of the most fascinating presences in indie rock, a truly unique sound and style with an incredible (and deafening) live show to match. With several successful albums to their name, the only way is up for Sleigh Bells, and with no-one else around to compare, they should be with us for the long haul. And thank God for that.