Broken Bells — the new duo project of The Shins’ James Mercer and ecclectic producer Danger Mouse — have released a second song culled from their forthcoming self-titled album, due March 9.
“Vaporize” starts out mellower than the first single “The High Road,” until that rock organ bursts into that Beta Band-beat. The tune does feel especially Shinsean, like “Chutes Too Narrow,” though the vocal effects on Mercer mix it up at the very least. It’s short, it’s pretty sweet.
Since Danger Mouse and Mercer played everything on the album (with exception to the strings), it will be a bit tough for them to hit the road just as a pair. Which is, perhaps, why they have yet to announce any shows.
The promotional cycle of this whole album has been a bit bizarro, including the unveiling of their first single “The High Road” (watch the music video here). Back at the end of last year, they sent newsletter subscribers a message in binary, in order to reveal the name of the first track, and their ads on various music websites shot clickers to URLs made up of anagrams of the band’s name and to bits and bobs of songs. Interesting, but not very revealing. Plus, the album actually leaked in December, but Columbia Records probably wants to keep tight squeeze on it in other ways in the meantime.
And Mercer hasn’t said much in the way of what’s happening with The Shins, from which he may understadably want a break after the hype machine broke circa 2007/”Wincing the Night Away.”
As previously reported, he’ll actually be starring in indie film “Some Days Are Better Than Others,” which gets its debut at South By Southwest in April.