Over 16 years and across more than half a dozen albums, the Dublin-based Bell X1 has seen their numbers swell and fall – they are now a tight trio; they’ve dabbled in folk pop and synth rock and have ended up somewhere in between; and with their latest, “Arms,” they have attempted to reset all expectations and in doing so have turned in one of their most consistently satisfying albums to date.“It was the most difficult album we’ve made,” said singer Paul Noonan in a recent press release announcing the record. “There was a touch of ‘What the Jaysus do we do now?’! and it led to a lot of soul searching about what kind of band we are, what we have to say, what is the care, what is the soul of the band.”
That soul searching led to some remarkably honest lyrics and stylistically, the band’s most comforting release. Over the years, they’ve drawn comparisons to everyone from Ryan Adams to The Frames. And there are still traces of those influences throughout this record, but on songs like “I Go Where You Go” and “Out of Love” they have clearly created their own unique sound that’s bound to influence a slew of newer bands.