After what even most die-hard Shins fans would consider a pretty lackluster album attempt, frontman James Mercer has reunited with producer-buddy Danger Mouse aka Brian Burton to write and record a new Broken Bells album, After The Disco. Broken Bells (1) was essentially Mercer's "solo" debut and once again, he's comfortably playing the Run-D.M.C. to Danger Mouse's Rick Rubin; who seems to play best with others, ie: Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, The Black Keys, Beck, Portugal. The Man, etc. Lead single "Holding On for Life," which was previously included within an album teaser, has been self-described by Burton as a mix between late 1980-90's Dr. Dre or Ice Cube and Bee Gees-style falsetto. After The Disco will become available this upcoming January 14th and will feature micro-appearances from Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes) on horns, Daniel Lupi-orchestrated string arrangements, man-made drum machine fills by Brian Burton himself, and "some back-up singers on a few of the songs."
After The Disco was seemingly recorded in James Mercer & Danger Mouse's downtime between Port of Morrow's touring cycle and other various projects; starting last October and recording for a couple days here and there, a week, another week until the album was completed. It's pretty crazy to think that this is the same guy [Burton] who hi-jacked beats from John, Paul, George & Ringo and ultimately, manged to piss off The Beatles' former label, EMI Records while piecing together his impeccable "The Grey Album" nearly 10 years ago. I'm not exactly sure how well-received Broken Bells' first album was by the greater music-buying public or even critics, but my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed it many months after it's original release... and if After The Disco ends up sounding anything like their last album, it's poised to be a fucking masterpiece! "To celebrate the forthcoming release of their second full-length record, After The Disco, [Broken Bells] created [a] short film, "After The Disco, Part One: Angel And The Fool," casting Star Trek's Anton Yelchin and Kate Mara of House of Cards to play star-crossed lovers in an otherworldly landscape," noted a recent Creators Project web-press release.