Bell X1 Reveals “Careful What You Wish For”

Bell X1 Premieres "Careful What You Wish For" Video . Fall North American Tour Starts In Two Weeks || 'Chop Chop' LP Out Now On Belly Up Records

“From the moment I heard demos, I knew this was a special batch of songs, nestled in the sweet spot between wistfulness and joy,” explains Thomas Bartlett, who oversaw Bell X1’s sixth album alongside the National’s longtime producer (Peter Katis). “The challenge was in making the songs rich and robust without losing the fragility and intimacy that made them so striking in the first place.”

The solution was actually quite simple: Rather than rely on malevolent noise makers and malfunctioning computers like Bell X1 did on their last couple LPs, Chop Chop shaves their melancholic sound—sculpted by frontman Paul Noonan, bassist Dominic Philips and multi-instrumentalist David Geraghty—down to nothing but reverb-trailed riffs, wildly expressive vocals and delicately layered rhythms. That way everything at least feels effortless, whether it’s the hypnotist hooks of “Starlings Over Brighton Pier,” the brain-burrowing torch balladry of “Careful What You Wish For,” or the heart-sinking apocalypse now narrative that is “The End Is Nigh.”

The feeling was mutual, as the group embraced their long overdue live/work situation overseas, recording the album at Tarquin Studios in Bridgeport, CT. “I can’t remember the last time I was part of a record that was recorded, mixed and mastered in only two weeks,” says Katis. “The guys came in really prepared song-wise and performance-wise. We had a ‘live’ setup of drums, bass and upright piano all in the same room—tracking to tape, going for full takes. It was a slightly old-fashioned approach, without the usual digital safety net, and I think that energy comes across in the music.”

“We returned to simpler times,” adds Noonan, “when all around here was fields. Shrink the palette, you know? Chop chop!”

‘Chop Chop’ LP Tracklisting

01 Starlings Over Brighton Pier
02 A Thousand Little Downers
03 Careful What You Wish For
04 Diorama
05 I Will Follow You
06 Drive -By Summer
07 Motorcades
08 Feint Praise
09 The End Is Nigh


Tour Dates

10.08 – Washington, DC – 6th & I Synagogue
10.09 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
10.11 – Boston, MA – The Sinclair
10.12 – New York, NY – The Bowery Ballroom
10.14 – Toronto, ON – The Great Hall
10.15 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
10.16 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
10.18 – Los Angeles, CA – Hotel Cafe
10.19 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

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