Artist of the Week: Broken Bells

Spring has sprung!

This past week’s first signs of warmer weather encourage each of us to come out of hibernation.  Today’s edition of Vapor’s Artist of the Week features the perfect accompaniment for a laid-back walk outdoors enjoying the sunshine — Broken Bells.

This much buzzed-about collaboration between The Shins’ frontman James Mercer and artist/producer Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton places Mercer’s mellow vocals against Danger Mouse’s characteristic electonic & hip-hop accompaniment, resulting in a fresh while not entirely unfamiliar approach to pop music.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released this past Tuesday, and you can get their debut single “The High Road” for free as iTunes’ Single of the Week.  The track will also be featured in one of Vapor’s latest music supervision projects, the Global/ABC television drama series Rookie Blue (previously titled Copper).  The program follows the dangerous and dramatic lives of five young rookie cops fresh out of the police academy and their struggles adjusting to life on the force.

Sounds Like:
“A deceptively catchy album centered on personal loss”
— Pitchfork

Similar to: The Shins mixed with Gnarls Barkley and a little bit of Beck thrown in for good measure.

“As an unexpected, left-field, typecast-busting side project similar to Gorillaz, the new collaboration between producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse, the auteur behind “The Grey Album,” Gnarls Barkley and Beck’s “Modern Guilt,” among other worthy undertakings) and James Mercer (leader of the heartstring-tugging jangle-pop band the Shins) seems on the surface less likely to produce a pure pop gem. But the self-titled debut by this underground supergroup not only finds both artists stretching outside their comfort zones, it boasts some of the most striking songwriting that either talent has given us.”

– Chicago Sun-Times

“It turns out the two pop-science geeks are a perfect match. Danger Mouse pushes Mercer’s gorgeous, existential tunecraft outward with Day-Glo dynamics.”
– Rolling Stone


Official Website
Watch the video for “The High Road”
Follow Broken Bells on Twitter
Some Vital Broken Bells stats courtesy of Rolling Stone
Read All About It: ‘Copper’ To Be Presented In Cannes


~ by vapormusic on March 11, 2010.

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