Second only to U2 as Ireland's most popular rock band, Bell X1 crafts a tight, melodic pop sound that calls to mind pre-electronic Radiohead and the more sedate side of Coldplay. Having recorded albums with the likes of Nick Seymour (Crowded House) and Roger Béchirian (Elvis Costello), the band is best known for its ability to craft infectious, durable, radio-friendly hooks with strong production values. Although officially formed in Celbridge, County Kildare, in 1999, the group's roots stretch back to the birth of Juniper in 1991. Formed straight out of school by eccentric singer Dodi Ma (better known by his given name Damien Rice), drummer Paul Noonan, keyboardist Brian Crosby, and bassist Dominic Philips, Juniper started out playing cover songs at weddings and other private functions around the nation's capital. After the addition of another school friend, guitarist David Geraghty, the band's focus shifted toward original music. Noted as one of the most exciting live acts around, Juniper's reputation grew rapidly and, following the release of two self-financed EPs, they signed a staggering six-album deal with Polygram Ireland in 1997.