Broken Bells, The Tabernacle Atlanta, GA
Broken Bells, The Tabernacle Atlanta, GA

“She found herself in a world full of men
Watching them slowly destroy all her plans
‘Cause all the love she won’t allow
Herself to even dream about
Well both of us are older now, and it won’t be long
The early morning siren
Is growing louder now
‘Cause waking up is hard enough when there’s no one else around”

-Broken Bells, The Angel and the Fool

Have you ever had someone in your life who just made you feel good? And I don’t mean in that way. I mean, someone who brought a little bit of zen and peace into your world. Someone who seemed to float through life with a sense of contentment and serenity. Being around them made you feel relaxed, calm, happy. This is how I felt recently. At a concert.

Last week me and my man got to sneak away for a one night trip to Atlanta to see Broken Bells. I had been looking forward to this show for months. I knew it would be different from the concerts we’re used to seeing. I’ve said before that Broken Bells is their own genre of music. A little bit electronic. Yet warm and organic. A seamless blending of styles. Melancholy that soars. Sounds that swirl together to create something euphoric. And the lyrics. My god, the lyrics.

James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse) have something special that happens when they come together to make music. A seemingly effortless melding of two Indie/Alternative music icons. This concert felt more like an experience. It wasn’t showmanship or effects. It was just music. But it was more than just music. It was a journey to someplace transcendent. It was beautiful. It was groovy, it was fun. It was my happy place. “The High Road”, off of their first album is one of my favorite songs ever. “Holding on For Life” is one of many gems off the new album, After the Disco. But after seeing the concert, “The Angel and the Fool” has been rippling through my mind and I can’t shake it. I don’t want to shake it. I hope you like it too…

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“Girl take a seat, rest your weary bones.  Your secret’s safe in my hands.  Tell me about the years and let me buy an hour.  Maybe help me to understand.  Ain’t nobody calling, ain’t nobody home.  What a lovely day to be lonely….”

-Broken Bells, Holding On For Life

Something old, something new….  that’s what you’re getting with this one.  I started listening to Broken Bells last summer.  They are the duo of James Mercer (The Shins) and Brian Burton (aka Danger Mouse).  They released their first self titled album in 2010.  And two whole years later I stumbled on to one of their songs and I was sucked in by the melody, the earthy yet psychedelic music.  It was it’s own genre and I immediately added most of their catalogue to my shuffle.

This first song is from their debut album.  I love Mercer’s voice in general, but I think this song shows it’s depth, it’s higher range and just a hint of a lilt that is intoxicating.  And a hand-clapping chorus gives the otherwise dark song an upbeat vibe.  And I love it.

The second song is off their new album, After The Disco, due out in January.  This song has an other-wordly feel but Mercer’s vocals keep it grounded.  I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album…