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Songwriter/producer Derek Miller and vocalist Alexis Krauss comprise Sleigh Bells, an experimental pop duo that began earning its first fans after a breakout performance at the 2009 CMJ Festival. The musicians formed the group in New York, where Miller (a Florida native and onetime member of hardcore act Poison the Well) had relocated in the hopes of starting a new project. He found his ideal partner in Krauss, a former vocalist for the teenaged girl group Rubyblue, and the two began creating a batch of demos that combined pop hooks with a loud, rhythmic crunch. The duo signed to M.I.A.'s boutique label N.E.E.T. and released its debut album, Treats, to critical acclaim in 2010. The band spent much of 2011 touring but found time to record, with Miller writing songs inspired by personal tragedy and playing a particularly metallic-sounding Jackson USA Soloist. The results, Reign of Terror, were released early in 2012 and reached as high as number 12 in the Billboard 200. During another year of heavy touring, the duo found time to lay down tracks for its third record, Bitter Rivals, which arrived in October 2013. ~ Andrew Leahey