Chop Chop, We’re Dreaming
There’s always those one or two albums that sound just like the season they were released in. Passion Pit has always been good about dropping their hot-beats-for-20-somethings just before summer. Luckily, the Irish group Bell X1 have two months of summer left. Their sixth studio album Chop Chop has enough laid-back melodies and twinkly sweet instruments to end your day at the beach or the drive home from the office. This is definitely nap music. Good nap music. “Starlings Over Brighton Pier” incorporates Paul Noona’s tired, whispery vocals, a style recently popularized by Justin Vernon. The sparse, accenting drum hits and splashy cymbals ease you into a familiar coma. This is Starbucks indie at its finest.
“Careful What You Wish For” was hand-tailored for the likes of every indie rom-com couple’s make out scene. You know, that scene where Zach Braff and Lizzy Caplan/Kirsten Dunst/Zooey Deschanel make out after hugging in the rain. The heavy One Republic-esque beat really drives the moody, albeit sexy feel of the track home. “Drive-by Summer” is playful and tom-driven. Noonan’s rasp is perfect over his reflective lyrics. Honestly, this entire album could be the soundtrack to the next Mark Duplass movie. It’s hip enough to make you open up your Shazam apps, but digestible enough to not take away from Aubrey Plaza’s eyes (or Ellen Page…whatever).
Chop Chop is the album you have your morning coffee to, the album you ride your bike at 3 a.m. to, the album to read that last letter from your ex to. It has songs you carefully place between those garage punk tracks as to not completely make it seem like you’re trying to out-obscure your friends. Bell X1 make music you wish you didn’t like so much because it makes you feel things you probably shouldn’t be feeling. Who really wants to cry while pulling up to a Fresh & Easy? Everyone. That’s who.