SXSW 2010: Sleigh Bells, Live In ConcertWritten on a laptop, Sleigh Bells' songs rely heavily on bombastic beats that are pushed as far into the red as they can go. Combined with Alexis Krauss' sultry vocals and Derek Miller's trashy guitar riffs, their blown-out beats leap out of the speakers. The electro-pop duo performed at The Parish as the headliner at NPR Music's daytime party.
This band is so new, they don't have a record — in fact, it's hard to even find that many songs online from this duo. But they wound up headlining NPR's day party, and they were a worthy headliner. Listen to the ear shattering opening, with full-on screaming from frontwoman Alexis Krauss, and you'll understand why. Though they breathlessly had to restart one track after experiencing unknown "technical difficulties," the crowd was all too happy to hear it again. Krauss' energy, charisma, and vocal stamina, was an excellent end to the afternoon. The audience couldn't see be at this show and not be completely awed. Though their set was cut a bit short due to persisting technical issues, Sleigh Bells still seriously shook up The Parish to cap off our SXSW shows.
For a band whose recorded output consists of a handful of bedroom demos, the New York duo Sleigh Bells has found itself at the center of widespread media attention following some breakout shows at last year's CMJ Music Marathon. The electro-pop duo — composed of guitarist, beatmaker and songwriter Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss — came together from unlikely backgrounds: Miller is a former member of the Florida hardcore band Poison the Well, while Krauss spent her teenage years in the girl group Rubyblue.
The music they make together as Sleigh Bells, however, doesn't really borrow from either of those two genres. Written on Miller's laptop, their songs rely heavily on bombastic beats that are pushed as far into the red as they can go. Combined with Krauss' sultry vocals and Miller's trashy guitar riffs, their blown-out beats leap out of the speakers.
The two met when Krauss and her mother ate at the restaurant where Miller worked while he was searching for a female vocalist. Shortly thereafter, they began putting together songs in Miller's apartment. Although they only have a few songs to their name, they have a debut album in the works, coming out with the help of M.I.A.