When two artists from different ends of the musical spectrum get together, magical things can happen. You might recognize Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse as the one who brilliantly mashed together JayZ’s The Black Album with the Beatles’ White Album to produce The Grey Album. He is also half of Gnarles Barkely with Cee Lo Green, and has produced albums for huge artists such as Beck, The Black Keys, and most recently U2. And then there’s James Mercer; the lead singer and guitarist of an indie rock band you may have heard of called The Shins. Mercer’s trademark falsetto paired with Danger Mouse’s infectious production and instrumentation was both familiar and completely unique.
Mercer and Danger Mouse met at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 2004, admitting to being huge fans of each other’s work. Fast forward to 2008, and the two begin recording together secretly at Burton’s LA studio, announcing their collab in 2009.
Music fans and critics alike were intrigued by the duo and anxiously anticipated their debut album. In March 2010, Broken Bells released their self-titled debut record, selling over 400,000 copies in the US, putting them at #7 on Billbaord’s 200, and reaching #1 on iTunes. They effortlessly sold out shows on their very first tour together.
Broken Bells released an EP called Meurin Fields one year later, and today (February 4, 2014) marks the arrival of their newest album, After the Disco.
Broken Bells (2010)
Meurin Fields EP (2011)
After The Disco (2014)
Last night Danger Mouse went back to his roots, kicking off Beatles week on Letterman to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles making their American debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. The duo covered “And I Love Her”.
Holding On For Life, After The Disco
The High Road, Broken Bells