Review: Bell X1 – “Chop Chop”

Bell X1- Chop-Chop

Bell X1 is bringing their sixth studio album, Chop Chop, over from Ireland to this great big land mass called America. With laid-back melodies and twinkly instrumentals, Chop Chop is the perfect album to bring your day to a nice, calming end. “Starlings Over Brighton Pier” incorporates frontman Paul Noona’s whispery, Justin Vernon-like vocals while the sparse drum hits and cymbal splashes echo in the background. Bell X1’s sound falls somewhere in between Bon Iver and The Nation, from orchestral piano textures (‘Diorama’), sleepy-eyed indie-pop (‘A Thousand Little Downers’), and blue-eyed soul ballads (‘Feint Praise’) alike. But Paul Noonan’s voice remains the nucleus: robust and warm, emotive enough, and never strained.

It’s indie. Totally, super indie.

Chop Chop is the album you cry in your car to while parked in front of an organic record store (do those exist?), and clutching a Styrofoam cup from Starbucks. It’s the album you play while you knit hats and headbands for all of your friends. Or maybe it’s the album you listen to while you make loose-leaf tea in a mason jar. You’re not trying to out-obscure your friends, but you can’t help it with Chop Chop. Just look at that album artwork. It’s much better than some photo of neon jellyfish taken by a girl named Clementine.

Check out the album and make all your friends jealous that you heard it before they did.

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