Everybody knows the duo Gnarls Barkley and the indie band The Shins, but do you know who their brainchild is? That would Broken Bells- an indie/electronic fusion group devised by The Shin’s lead singer James Mercer and Gnarls Barkley producer Danger Mouse. At first, Broken Bells was just a side project, but after the massive success of their debut self titled album the duo decided to continue with their most recent endeavor.
The two met in 2004, and after learning of their mutual admiration for each other’s work, deemed they would someday collaborate. Four years later, Mercer and Danger Mouse, despite their fame, secretly began writing and recording their first album in the producer’s LA home. Both artists pushed the other to new heights with Mercer exploring his falsetto and Danger Mouse utilizing only his instrumental talents, avoiding his usual sample- heavy style. The outcome was nothing less than a triumph.
This past February, the duo released their second studio album- After The Disco- which sky rocketed to the number five spot on US charts, no surprise there. The opening track “Perfect World” channels The Postal Service’s back and forth, poppy electro beats, and includes a guitar solo you’d expect from a full rock album. Throughout all eleven tracks, melodies rise and fall easily between up beat dance tunes and songs driven by softer, haunting harmonies.
This summer the band is on the festival tour with Coachella, Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo on the list of American shows, and with both band members as intricate components in other groups, you will want to see these guys while you can!
Written By: Rachel Oldham
Genre: Indie Rock
Label: Columbia Records