For fans of the Shins and of Gnarls Barkley, the 2010 debut of Broken Bells – a collaboration between James Mercer and Danger Mouse – was met with great anticipation. Both the Shins and Gnarls Barkley have already found considerable mainstream and commercial success outside their respective indie and hip hop/funk niches, so it was natural that a collaboration between these two pedigreed performers would be something special. And Broken Bells didn’t disappoint.
Their self-titled debut record manages to marry the most appealing elements of Mercer’s and Danger Mouse’s respective bands. Whether it was the jangly tweeness of the Shins or the percussive beats of Gnarls Barkley, Broken Bells the record had it.
The announced release of Broken Bells‘ sophomore record After the Disco gives relief to fans that their debut wasn’t just a one-off affair (the band also released an EP in 2011). Whilst Broken Bells the record is a more gloomier affair built upon a sense of loss, After the Disco feels like a brighter, more hopeful album. It is just as technically solid as its predecessor though, filled with impeccably shiny production. All the more perfect to contain the shine and bounce of Mercer and Danger Mouse’s works.
Stream the first single Holding On For Life embedded below.
Broken Bells – After the Disco comes out 2/4 via Columbia (order here)