Releasing: 9 March
Broken Bells brings together two of today’s brightest and most innovative musicians: Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse), best known for his work as one half of Gnarls Barkley and James Mercer, principle songwriter for indie-pop darlings the Shins. According to NPR, the duo met six years ago and finally found time to record together this past year.
Despite clocking in at only 37 minutes, Broken Bells’ self-titled debut is complete with signature sounds from both members — light harmonies and catchy hooks reminiscent of Mercer’s Shins and haunting organs and dark synth riffs from Burton’s production on Gorillaz’ Demon Days from 2005 and Beck’s Modern Guilt from 2008.
The upcoming release of this album (9 March) comes as bittersweet news to Shins’ fans, who have been waiting three years for a new record. Instead, they get a glimpse of Mercer’s songwriting ability outside the indie pop sound that made him big. At the very least, Broken Bells will keep them entertained in the meantime.
The album is currently streaming over at NPR. The music video for their first single, “The High Road” is below.
01 The High Road
03 Your Head Is on Fire
04 The Ghost Inside
05 Sailing to Nowhere
06 Trap Doors
09 Mongrel Heart
10 The Mall and Misery