11 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Extremely popular in Ireland, Bell X1 perform a gentle electronic pop that calls to mind early Radiohead, mild Coldplay and the smooth stylings of bands from the ‘80s . Singer Paul Noonan sings in a pretty tone that turns the mundane into something worth researching further. “Hey Anna Lena” begins things at the group’s edge, with rhythms and ethereal tones that close in on that wistful world that Mark Hollis, David Sylvian and other musicians who respect the space in music have explored. “Sugar High” constructs a tune out of various unusual rhythmic setups and a keyboard that delivers a circuslike joy. “Velcro” and “Safer than Love” bring back the ‘80s with urgent synth-pop bounces. “The Trailing Skirts of Love” is most powerful, beginning with a muted tapping that builds into a massive stereo keyboard flourish. The band is often best in their quietest moments. “74 Swans” begins with a sublime loneliness that is the band’s secret strength. They do not need to write epics and anthems to get their point across. A few sweet notes and Paul Noonan’s voice can do all the work.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Extremely popular in Ireland, Bell X1 perform a gentle electronic pop that calls to mind early Radiohead, mild Coldplay and the smooth stylings of bands from the ‘80s . Singer Paul Noonan sings in a pretty tone that turns the mundane into something worth researching further. “Hey Anna Lena” begins things at the group’s edge, with rhythms and ethereal tones that close in on that wistful world that Mark Hollis, David Sylvian and other musicians who respect the space in music have explored. “Sugar High” constructs a tune out of various unusual rhythmic setups and a keyboard that delivers a circuslike joy. “Velcro” and “Safer than Love” bring back the ‘80s with urgent synth-pop bounces. “The Trailing Skirts of Love” is most powerful, beginning with a muted tapping that builds into a massive stereo keyboard flourish. The band is often best in their quietest moments. “74 Swans” begins with a sublime loneliness that is the band’s secret strength. They do not need to write epics and anthems to get their point across. A few sweet notes and Paul Noonan’s voice can do all the work.

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