Broken Bells

Shins frontman James Mercer and producer Danger Mouse first met and collaborated back in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2009 that their band together, Broken Bells, became a known fact. That these two indie heroes -- in the first instance, a Brian Wilson-esque crooner known for intricate pop structures and a rather famous spot on Natalie Portman’s playlist; in the second, a guy who first made his name mashing-up Jay-Z and The White Album before going on to work MF Doom and Cee-Lo -- should come together isn’t as surprising as it might appear on first blush. They both share a love for the melodic playfulness of the 1960s, for one thing. And Danger Mouse is no stranger to indie-rockers; he’s also sat behind the boards for Sparklehorse and the Black Keys.


Broken Bells released its debut self-titled album in 2009, a well-received blend of classic rock-style hooks and funky instrumentation. Mercer and Danger Mouse insisted in interviews that the band is more than a one-off project, and that more albums will follow. ~Wilson McBee

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