Broken Bells’ self titled debut album has sold over 200,000 copies domestically since its March 9 Columbia Records release, nearly 50,000 of which were moved in its first week—landing the record at #7 on the Billboard 200 and #1 at its peak on iTunes). In addition to being the year’s highest charting debut album by an alternative/rock band, Broken Bells met with an instantly and unanimously positive critical reception: Rolling Stone hailed the album as “the year’s coolest left field pop disc” in a 4-star lead review, while Wired described it as “crazy good stuff” and Entertainment Weekly praised it as a “subtly savory sonic morsel.” More recently, Broken Bells came in at #4 in NPR’s best music of 2010 so far listeners poll.
Broken Bells’ first ever tour has fared similarly, selling out from date one, and dazzling crowds the world over. Witnessing one of the band’s very first performances, US Weekly likened Broken Bells live show to “being at a cozy, intimate underground basement party somewhere in Northern California with the best art rock band on the coast providing the soundtrack.”
Meanwhile, as Broken Bells’ first single “The High Road” holds strong in a top 10 spot after six months at Alternative radio, the Jacob Gentry-directed and Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks-starring video for second single “The Ghost Inside” has been generating hundreds of thousands of views at http://www.vevo.com/watch/broken-bells/the-ghost-inside/USSM21000518. A behind the scenes look into the making of the five-minute sci fi opus can be viewed at http://www.vevo.com/watch/broken-bells/the-making-of-the-ghost-inside/USSM21001080 and further insights are offered up in an exclusive Q&A with director Gentry at http://pitchfork.com/news/39385-directors-cut-broken-bells-the-ghost-inside/.
Broken Bells features Mercer on vocals, guitars and bass while Burton plays organ, drums, piano, synths and bass. The pair play all instruments on the album with the exception of a full string section arranged by Daniele Luppi. Broken Bells was recorded by Todd Monfalcone and Kennie Takahashi at Mondo Studio in Los Angeles and produced by Danger Mouse.
Each a long-time fan of the other’s work, Burton and Mercer first met face-to-face backstage at the 2004 Roskilde Festival in Copenhagen. The pair immediately hit it off and kept in touch over the prevailing half decade and in May 2008 seized the opportunity to finally collaborate on original music together. Broken Bells was pared down from more than 20 pieces of new music written and recorded to the 10 songs that coalesced together the most seamlessly.
Mercer and Burton will continue to work as a band in the future.
BROKEN BELLS Live 2010
07/30/10 – Nigata, Japan – Fuji Rock Festival
08/12/10 – Oslo, Norway – Oya Festival
08/13/10 – Helsinki, Finland – Flow Festival
08/14/10 – Goteborg, Sweden – Way Out West
08/16/10 – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gafaehrlich
08/17/10 – Cologne, Germany – Gloria
08/19/10 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
10/05/10 – Oakland, CA – The Fox Theatre
10/06/10 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
10/09/10 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10/11/10 – New York, NY – Terminal 5