James Mercer and Brian Burton (a.k.a. Danger Mouse), collectively knows as Broken Bells, will release their sophomore record, After the Disco, on February 4th via Columbia Records. In anticipation, it’s streaming in full over at iTunes.
The follow-up to 2010’s self-titled debut is described as concept album. The duo was interested in “what people in the Fifties and Sixties thought now was gonna be like,” as Burton explained to Rolling Stone. Part of the concept then evolved into exploring personal memories, Burton added, “When you’re younger, you have ideas and visions of what you’re going to be like when you’re older and what love is going to be like and who you’re gonna be married to and all of these different things. Hearing some of the sounds from the synthesizers in the Eighties, and things like that, bring up certain kinds of emotional elements from when you were younger.”
Burton also spoke about the pair’s creative approach, saying, “It’s a pretty sad record. It’s pretty bleak in a way. We used the same couple of guitars, the same bass, the same drums, maybe two or three synthesizers at most for the whole album. I like the idea of two guys being able to make something that sounds really big. It’s not dance music by any means, but it’s fast enough to be danced to. When I think of Broken Bells, I don’t think of it as music you could dance to so it definitely wasn’t anything we shied away from, but it still had the sadness, it still had the kind of darker melancholy thing we like to do.”
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing. Below, watch the part on to the “After the Disco” short film, entitled “The Angel and The Fool”: