This month has been an amazing month for things I have been looking forward to – just a lot of things already from my list around New Year’s. The Lego Movie. Lightning Returns. But I’m running out of month, and would like to recommend the other thing I have been enjoying this month: the new album by the Broken Bells, After the Disco.
I found the Broken Bells originally through a circuitous route, following the music of Danger Mouse. I imagine other people have found this band by tracing the other member of the band: James Mercer, lead singer from The Shins. Both are excellent musicians, and they bring their skills together well.
I love their first album, the eponymous Broken Bells, and their EP Meyrin Fields. However, those have been out a couple of years, so old news I guess too. But you should check them out. Several of the songs have music videos, so I will include those below. And now they have a couple of music videos out for After the Disco as well, so you can share in the joy of this album, and see if you like their stuff too. Help me to not have a fandom of one!
This album starts strong, with The High Road leading it off:
However, their best music video and song, in my opinion, from the album is The Ghost Inside. I have mentioned this video before, but it certainly fits here as well. Starring Christina Hendricks of Firefly and Mad Men fame, this music video tells a singular tale of broken dreams. Set in an awesome science fiction world that I feel like I completely understand in just these few minutes.
The rest of the album has a great feel to it, and I like listening to it and the EP together, with the two following together. Good stuff.
After the Disco
But did the story end there?
I love the subtle relationship between the music video for The Ghost Inside and then Holding on for Life. And thematically, they both end up touching on some of the same ideas, of prolonging life and trying to find meaning out of it while doing so. While it lacks the punch of The Ghost Inside, it’s a great song.
And then this music video came out more recently…
This one was a very different type of video, and a much more subdued song. However, now we have the pink amorphous flying ship carrying over between music videos. The inclusion of the lyrics in the video was interesting as well, kept me watching the screen, anyway.
Thematically, though, the album centers around the title song, After the Disco. They haven’t come up with a music video for this song, they just posted it to their VEVO channel…
This modern fusion of disco music is not coming first from the Broken Bells, of course; I think the big album in terms of this was Random Access Memories by Daft Punk. It will be interesting to see how much of our near future in music is going to be a homage to the disco era. As this is not really a type or era of music I have really listened to, it won’t feel like a return to anything for me, at least, so I’m interested to see where things go.
Sadly, I now have to wait years I’m sure for another Broken Bells album… while they go off again and work on their “main” projects! So instead for now, I will take comfort in introducing you, my readers, to the Broken Bells!