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Sleigh Bells: Summer fling or in it for the long haul?

Tonight the massively-hyped New York duo Sleigh Bells performs a sold-out show at Rock & Roll Hotel. (Read a Q&A with guitarist Derek Miller.) The loud-Louder-LOUDEST party anthems on the band's debut album “Treats” are no doubt serving as the soundtrack for many a summer 2010. But will Sleigh Bells still be blowing out your speakers a few summers from now? It’s easy to think that all this hype means a short shelf life. But a look back at the buzziest bands of past five summers tells us that Sleigh Bells’ success might not be all that short-lived.

2009 - Passion Pit

The squeaky-voiced electro-pop band jumped to Black Cat mainstage headliner status with just a six-song EP to its name. There’s no been no slowdown in popularity since. Never mind a sold-out 9:30 gig and festival appearances -- the band got to perform alongside the likes of Sting, John Legend and the Roots at this spring’s Earth Day concert on the National Mall.

2008 - Vampire Weekend
Don’t try to tell us that you didn’t drive around with the windows down blasting some “A-Punk” or “Oxford Comma” a couple summers ago. Or maybe you were blasting it on the yacht, or in the country club. It’s taken only two years for the band to move from Rock & Roll Hotel to Merriweather Post Pavilion. Where do they go from here? The Strokes looked ready to take over the world after two albums but it turned out they had already peaked.

Justice was all the rage in 2007. (Courtesy of Ed Banger Records)

2007 - Justice
A world craving the return of Daft Punk punk settled for countrymates Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay and their debut album, “†.” Subtlety be damned, the group delivered dance-floor anthems that had crossover appeal from hipsters to Friday-night-only revelers. It’s been quiet on the Justice front for much of the past year -- when the duo reemerges, will people want to D.A.N.C.E.?

2006 - Lily Allen
Her debut album “Alright, Still” wasn’t officially released in the U.S. until early 2007 but singles such as “Smile” and “LDN” already made their way overseas. She achieved festival-headliner status back home in the U.K. but never achieved superstardom over here. And now she’s basically quit music to focus on fashion, or something.

2005 - M.I.A.
The leadup to “/\/\/\Y/\” goes beyond mere hype. She’s a legit superstar now. But back in 2005, when “Galang” was the song of the summer, it was hard to tell just how big she would become. We have our answer now, although the backlash may finally be kicking into full gear post-truffle fry gate.

By David Malitz  |  July 2, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags: Justice, Lily Allen, M.I.A., Passion Pit, Sleigh Bells, Vampire Weekend  
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