Record Label: Columbia
Originally issued in 2010, Broken Bells is the eponymous debut album from the collaborative project of the same name featuring James Mercer of The Shins on vocals, guitars and bass, and artist/producer Brian Burton aka Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillaz, Beck, The Black Keys) on organ, piano and drums. Fate would strike when Burton, a long-time admirer of The Shins, met Mercer backstage when the two happened to be performing at the same music festival.
From then on, there was no looking back. The creative cogs had already begun grinding away. While Burton has had his pick of collaborators in musical forays, he found his ultimate writing partner in Mercer. James helped unlock a new musical world for both himself and Burton as Broken Bells. The result was the creation of cosmic and forceful music from a duo with mutual respect and shared talents. It’s not The Shins. It’s not Danger Mouse. It’s Broken Bells.
Burton and Mercer’s illustrious first effort was nominated for a Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album and ultimately helped solidify Burton’s Producer of the Year honor in 2011, one of his 17 nominations and five Grammy victories in seven years.