Broken Bells performs at Webster Hall, June 2010
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Indie rock, space rock, alternative rock|
|Associated acts||Flake Music, The Shins, Gnarls Barkley, Danger Doom|
Broken Bells is an American indie rock band composed of artist-producer Brian Burton (better known as Danger Mouse) and James Mercer, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the indie rock band The Shins. Broken Bells compose and create as a duo, but are joined by a full band on tour. The live band included Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band sidemen Nate Walcott and Nik Freitas, and Jonathan Hischke and Dan Elkan, both ex-members of Hella. Following the success of their first self-titled album, Broken Bells, Mercer and Burton announced intentions to record a follow-up, and released a new EP, Meyrin Fields, on March 29, 2011.
The project was first announced on September 29, 2009. The pair decided to work together after meeting at the Roskilde Festival in 2004 and finding they were fans of each other's work. It took four more years before the two started working together and by March 2008 Mercer and Burton began recording together in secret at Burton's Los Angeles-based studio. The two describe their material as "melodic, but experimental, too."
Prior to the formation of Broken Bells, Mercer and Burton both worked together on the track "Insane Lullaby" on the album Dark Night of the Soul by Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse. Broken Bells have since performed the song several times, often as a tribute to the late Mark Linkous, the Sparklehorse frontman who died in early 2010.
Broken Bells self-titled debut album was released in the U.S. and Canada on March 9, 2010. Another version of the album was released as well which is designed to be a music box that, when opened, plays a song called "The Overture", which is not on the album.
Their self-titled debut album has sold over 400,000 copies domestically, putting the album at #7 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on iTunes. The album has received positive reviews. Rolling Stone magazine gave it a 4 star review and stated that it was “the year’s coolest left field pop disc.” Besides their album being among the year’s highest charting debut albums, the band had sold out gigs on their first ever tour.
Broken Bells released an EP titled Meyrin Fields on March 18, 2011.
On February 14, 2012, in an interview with KINK.FM (a Portland radio station), James Mercer stated that he is currently working on a second Broken Bells album.
On October 8, 2013, Broken Bells announced their second album, After the Disco, due for release on January 14, 2014. On November 4, 2013, Broken Bells released their first single from the album, titled "Holding on for Life". 
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|2014||After the Disco
|Year||Single||Peak chart positions||Certifications||Album|
|2009||"The High Road"||10||15||75||60||
|2010||"The Ghost Inside"||22||42||—||—|
|2013||"Holding On for Life"||23||—||—||—||After the Disco|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart|
Awards and nominations
Broken Bells were nominated at the 2011 Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album.
- Bronson, Kevin "Broken Bells Debut New Songs at L.A. Showcase", Spin Magazine, February 22, 2010, accessed March 14, 2010.
- Dye, David (2010-07-23). "Broken Bells On World Cafe". World Cafe. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
- Adams, Sean (2009-09-29). "The Shins' James Mercer + Danger Mouse = Broken Bells! Greatest News Of the Year". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Hewitt, Ben The Odd Couple: Broken Bells Interviewed from The Quietus January 2010.
- Gormley, Ian Broken Bells: James Mercer and Danger Mouse at Exclaim! March 2010.
- Diehl, Matt (2009-09-30). "Danger Mouse, The Shins’ James Mercer Explain the Birth of New Band Broken Bells". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
- Danger Mouse, James Mercer Ring in Broken Bells from Reuters.
- James Mercer of The Shins - Interview in the Bing Lounge
- "Canadian certifications – Broken Bells". Music Canada. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
- Official website
- LAist - Broken Bells Live Debut at The Bootleg Theater - Review and Photos
- Broken Bells on NPR's World Cafe - 2010 Interview and live performance