Two years on from his first foray into his solo side project, Bell X1’s David Geraghty has emerged with Victory Dance, an album of quiet optimism, writes Eimear O’Reilly.
“It’s nerve-wracking to be doing it all over again, a mixbag of emotions, a rollercoaster as Ronan Keating would say…”
As David Geraghty explains; the intentions behind releasing a second album were less about critical acclaim and more to do with “getting around to those schoolboy aspirations of making records.”
“Before Juniper or Bell X1 came along, there was always the aspiration to be a good songwriter and put my music out there, I suppose it was me just eventually getting round to taking care of those aspirations and not ignoring them… I don’t want to be on my death bed going what if?”
Geraghty admits that when it comes to writing, his primary impulse is to create music that he would like to listen to himself. The songs aren’t necessarily representative of his own personal mindset, more of his musical inclinations.
“I just really enjoy listening to albums like that, albums like Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, I wouldn’t necessarily stick on Born in the USA and dance around the room, throwing on the lipstick, going out to the disco on a Friday night… I’d put on an album when I sit down and be consumed by it.”
Having filled his first album, Kill Your Darlings, with dark, sombre tones, Geraghty pursued a more uplifting theme with Victory Dance, incorporating a wider, more immediate sound. “With Kill Your Darlings, I wanted it to have a theme or a certain kind of darkness – I didn’t want it to be too upbeat.”
It’s refreshing to hear that Geraghty doesn’t shy away from his associations, namely being a member of Bell X1. He understands the importance and opportunities the band has given him, experiencing a learning curve that feeds into both projects.
“I didn’t want people to misconstrue my motivation for this, like trying to carve out a sole career for myself, but of course it definitely helps being a member of Bell X1. People obviously refer to it and rightly so. Being in the band for so long has taught me so much…it keeps me fresh and allows me to bring new and different things to the table.”
It’s certainly been an eventful two years since Geraghty’s first album. Following the release he received a Choice music prize nomination, as well as two Meteor awards. He also undertook an extensive tour with Bell X1, which included US appearances on the Conan O’Brien Show and The Late Show with David Letterman. All topped off with an enviable support slot with U2 in Croke Park this summer.
But instead of mulling over the pressures of such success, Geraghty keeps looking forward: “I’ve just kind of kept my head down and kept going with the Victory Dance until I was happy with it, I haven’t had time to think about any of it… until now.”
David Geraghty plays The Button Factory on September 16th