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Music / Sleigh Bells

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Sleigh Bells is an Dance-Punk/Alternative Rock duo made up of vocalist Alexis Krauss and guitarist Derek Miller. The two met in a Portuguese restaurant that Derek worked in, when Alexis' mother found out that he was looking for a bandmate, and suggested her daughter for the spot. A short while after, the two released their debut album Treats, to great critical acclaim.


  • Sleigh Bells (EP) (2009)
  • Treats (2010)
  • Reign of Terror (2012)
  • Bitter Rivals (2013)
  • Jessica Rabbit (2016)
  • Kid Kruschev (EP) (2017)
  • Texis (2021)

Sleigh Bells provides examples of:

  • Badass Boast: "Rule Number One"
    "There will be no end to my rainmaking"
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the end of the video for "Bitter Rivals", Derek and Alexis menacingly approach the camera as if to flip off the screen, but instead cheerfully flash the victory sign and the phrase "Be Good to Each Other" pops up above them.
  • Batter Up!: Alexis wields a baseball bat in the "Infinity Guitars" video.
  • Beach Episode: In the midst of Treats's school theme, "Kids" is quite literally a song about a beach trip, and not much else. Ross Scott referred to it as "the most hardcore song about going to the beach I've ever heard."
  • Biblical Motifs: Texis uses them liberally. "An Acre Lost" quotes the Lord's Prayer with a twist, Locust Laced references the Plagues of Egypt from the Book of Exodus, and "Rosary" uses, well, rosary metaphors.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Alexis' sweet vocals are a mighty contrast to Derek's hard, crunchy guitars. As well, Alexis herself has claimed to be the "calm, older sister" to Derek's brooding.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: Alexis wears a girl's Catholic school uniform in the "Infinity Guitars" video.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Looping and heavy repetition of lyrics, particularly at the end of the song and into the fadeout. Some examples are "Demons"note , "Sugarcane"note , "You Don't Get Me Twice"note , and "Crucible"note .
  • Driven to Suicide: Heavily implied in the music video for "I Can Only Stare", which follows three "doomed women" (to quote a press release) all portrayed by Alexis: by the end of the video, one is walking into the ocean, one is about to perform Self-Immolation, and one is at the very least unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning. It's something of a Bolivian Army Ending though, as none of these characters explicitly die before the video ends.
    • Depicted in "You Lost Me": "behind the Circle K / where our bodies lay / we took our lives away / we wanted it this way".
  • Genki Girl: Alexis is positively beaming with energy on stage.
  • Genre Mashup: Many have described their sound as a mix of Pop / Metal / Punk / R&B. Ain't that quite a pedigree? Derek himself has called "Comeback Kid" an R&B song with guitars.
  • High School: They seem to take a big chunk of inspiration from the American high school experience, often with a twist. For example:
  • Lesser Star: Derek, who despite playing all the instruments, producing the albums, and writing the songs, is completely in shadow of Alexis (who only sings) to casual listeners.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The song "Rill Rill" on Treats. On the 2009 EP the song was "Ring Ring" which does appear in the lyrics, but it was rewritten slightly for Treats, becoming "Ring Ring II", which became "Rill Rill" for the finished album.
    • More straightforwardly, "Tell 'Em", "Kids", "Treats", "Leader of the Pack", "D.O.A.", "Sing Like a Wire", "24", and "Crucible", among others.
  • Number of the Beast: "Sixteen six six six and I'll never part" ("Rill Rill") and "They're gonna stand em up six by six by six" (adequately, "Demons").
  • Odd Friendship: Certainly seems that way, at first. While Derek was playing in punk bands, Alexis was a kindergarten teacher.
    • Platonic Life-Partners: They've stated that they feel more like brother and sister and Alexis has more input into their albums, balancing out their sound.
  • Pep-Talk Song: They have a few.
    • "Comeback Kid", which is one of the few cheery songs on Reign of Terror.
    I know you tried so hard, but you can't even win
    You gotta try a little harder, you're the comeback kid
    • "Riot Rhythm":
    Dear heart, don't stop fighting, prepare, ride the lightning
    It's like heart-heart-heartbeat, just like riot rhythm
    You've gotta march!
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: "Rachel".
    Rachel, please, don't go the beach, don't go
    Rachel, please, just stay here with me
  • Rage Against the Heavens: "Treats":
    "Bomb heaven/can we bomb heaven?"
  • Record Producer: Derek is a "DIY" type of this, having produced both their albums himself.
  • Sampling: "Rill Rill" borrows its riff from Funkadelic's "Can You Get To That".
  • Single Stanza Song: "A/B Machines" is simply the lines "Got my A machines on the table/Got my B machines in the drawer" repeated throughout its three and a half minute length.
    • Other than Alexis briefly scatting along with the guitar riff and shouting "ow!" once, the only lyrics to "Straight A's" are "Ain't no sleep / we want straight A's".
  • Stock Trailer Music: "Crown on the Ground" is played in the trailer of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring.
    • "Infinity Guitars" is featured in TV spots for Kick-Ass 2.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Derek. He's since ditched them by the time their album Bitter Rivals came around because he didn't want to be that guy who wore sunglasses inside. Also, he stopped drinking heavily and thus didn't need the glasses to hide his hangover.
  • Surreal Music Video: The "Rill Rill" video. A picture day session at a school from hell, a shrine filled lockers, a bleeding telephone… what?!
  • Textless Album Cover: Most of their albums- Texis and Kid Kruschev have the title on the front cover (but not the band's name)
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Lots of the songs on Treats have these, because the music behind them was created first, and then lyrics were added to them on top. The songs on Reign of Terror, however, were more carefully crafted, with an increased emphasis on lyrical content. Bitter Rivals is a balance of the two, with Alexis contributing more lyrics. An example from the Treats single "Infinity Guitars":
    Deaf chords, deaf hens
    Sling set can't meet the demands
    Dumb whores, best friends
    Infinity guitars, your heart
  • Workaholics: Self-described. They prefer to keep busy and released three albums in three years.
  • Yandere: "Road to Hell" has these undertones.
    Take a break from your friends, if you ever wanna see them again

    Go away for a while, if you can
    You can be my only friend, when you're tied to the bed
  • You All Meet in an Inn: Alexis met Derek in a restaurant that he was a waiter at.