I’ve written about my love for female-fronted rock bands in the past. Brooklyn noise pop duo Sleigh Bells is an established member of this list, featuring the vocals of singer-songwriter Alexis Krauss, whose occupation Wikipedia lists as “Musician, Princess.”
Accompanied by guitarist Derek E. Miller, Princess Krauss and Sleigh Bells have released three full-length studio albums and a handful of singles, most recently dropping music in 2015. Now, the band is teasing fans with a brand new track, “Hyper Dark,” and has announced their return to the road with a U.S. fall tour.
Sleigh Bells Take a Turn for the Dark
The song begins with shaky, heavily distorted guitar chords and a faintly crashing cymbal. 30 Seconds in, the noise rock intro subsides, giving way to more pronounced plucks beneath Krauss’ ethereal voice.
Her smooth vocals are misleading, however, as the lyrics are anything but relaxing. “Quick, assemble a symbol, a solution,” she warns, as the garage-band sounding guitar returns to echo behind her. “You’re stalling / Flags tangle in the wind / Slash, slash.”
An enchanting synth melody chimes in to propel Krauss through the chorus. Grungy guitars and a programmed drum sequence tumble in and out as she repeats, “Hyper Dark / I think we have a problem / Hyper dark.” A beat of silence after the bridge invites a metronome to kick before the synths make one more trip completing the final bars.
The track’s dark style reminded me of an Autolux song — one sung by Carla Azar, of course. Although following a different tempo, “Hyper Dark” captures the same shadowy vibe as the alternative trio’s recent dystopian single, “Soft Scene.”
Sleigh Bells will kick off their tour on August 31 in Cleveland, wrapping in Seattle in mid-November. You can learn more about upcoming tour dates on their Facebook page, and listen to “Hyper Dark” on Spotify and iTunes.