A lot of Irish music is a study in contradictions. Many times the music is uplifting and joyful. Other times it can be somber and reflective in a way that most American artists can't grasp. Given the political issues that have plagued the Irish over time (both in their native land those that traveled to America in the 1800's). So it only makes sense that often the music that comes from Ireland can be something on a dichotomy. Today's example highlight the more soulful side of things.
BELL x1 have had almost no impact on the US market. No one I have ever talked to has ever heard of them or any of their music. This is a crying shame because they make music that can break your heart. It has much in common with U2 but with a less uplifting take on life as we know it. Their latest album, "Blue Lights on The Runway", takes a mixture of Postal Service's bleeps and adds to their standard mix of straightforward rock. There are also hints of the instrumentation and vocal cadences found in the last FRIGHTENED RABBIT CD, which I adored.
(mp3) Bell X1 -- Heartlands (bonus points for this brilliant take on the U2 song from "Rattle and Hum")