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Film School Graduate To The Big Leagues

Lyndsey Parker
The New Now

Film School are not technically a new act--they formed in San Francisco in 1998, and their first album came out in 2001--but after a three-year recording hiatus and a few lineup changes, they sure sound like a band reborn.

While the dreampop quintet's just-released fourth album, Fission, features the same band members that played on 2007's Hideout, Fission's fizzy, fuzzy sound is notably different--more "pop" than "dream." Yes, Film School's gazes remain unblinkingly focused on their shoes (their usual influences--Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, Lush--are still easily discernible here), but they've also expanded their musical vision, adding beats and synths for a lighter, groovier, more modern vibe.

Much of this sonic makeover is due to the the increased participation of angel-voiced bassist Lorelei Plotczyk (pictured flipping her hair at right), who joined Film School for Hideout and on this latest release contributes some of the finest tracks. Her ethereal, lush/Lush vocals are front-and-center on the first single, "Heart Full Of Pentagons," for instance, and the Plotczyk-penned second single, "Sunny Day," is an irresistible burst of jangle-pop effervescence that, with its mix of bright Byrdsy guitars and cool Britpop ennui, is the perfect soundtrack for summer morphing into autumn.

Below, check out Fission's first video, "Sunny Day"--shot by band leader Greg Bertens in Silver Lake as a sort of lo-fi love letter to Film School's adopted home turf of Los Angeles--as well as the propulsive "Heart Full Of Pentagons." If you weren't familiar with this band before, it's time to get schooled.

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