Lymbyc Systym’s Michael Bell (left) and Jared Bell get orchestral on their next album.
LYMBYC SYSTYM with PACE THE STAIRS and IN SUPPORT OF LIVING, COBRAS at Velvet Underground (510 Queen West), Wednesday (July 22). $7. 416-504-6688.
If you've already heard of NYC/Austin duo Lymbyc Systym, chances are you caught one of their high-profile opening gigs with Broken Social Scene or Crystal Castles.
The Bell brothers (Jared on synths, Michael on drums and percussion) scored tons of prime warm-up slots thanks to heavy hitters falling in love with their beautifully crafted electronic instrumental tracks.
"I don't think of us as an instrumental band," says Jared, riding shotgun with Michael down the I-10 en route to a Baton Rouge gig.
"Our music has just evolved from us playing together since we were kids. It's not like we want to be exclusively instrumental. If it's appropriate at some point to add vocals, we will."
The Bells appeared on the indie scene with 2005's Carved By Glaciers, an EP that's just been reissued with bonus tracks. Critical acclaim came with 2007's Love Your Abuser and 2009's Field Studies (Magic Bullet), a split EP with Texas post-rockers This Will Destroy You.
When Michael briefly toured as Crystal Castles' live drummer, their profile increased further.
Jared cites Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Radiohead and Broken Social Scene as influences, putting the emphasis on BSS.
"There was some nervousness [opening for them] because they're one of our favourite bands ever. I remember thinking, ‘Wow, Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning and Justin Peroff are chilling at the side of the stage watching us play. I hope we're good.' Once we started, it was fine. I actually geeked out on that."
With a new full-length, Shutter Release (Mush), dropping in November, the pair are working out new tunes live and experimenting with additional musicians.
"There's a lot more orchestration going on. Songs are shorter and catchier, but also more experimental because we mess with weird forms and time signatures.
"For a week of the tour, including our date in Toronto, we're playing with a really talented violinist named Chris Tignor who used to be my neighbour in New York.
Does this point to an impending personnel expansion?
"Maybe. Playing with Chris might be the tip of the iceberg. But we really pride ourselves on being brothers and being a duo, so we're always going to be the core of the band."