After months of new singles, short films, remixes and radio appearances, Broken Bells' After The Disco is finally here. Click the link above to stream the album on Spotify.
Overall, After The Disco showcases much more adventurous songwriting and production than the duo's self-titled debut. You'll hear varying tempos, intriguingly strange sounds, and a fair amount of ponderous, beard-stroke-worthy lyrics. In a recent interview with Stereogum, Danger Mouse discussed the differences between After The Disco and Broken Bells:
We started out the songs in different places that we hadn’t been before. Something like 'Holding On For Life' or something really fast or more up-tempo. I didn’t want to repeat the first record, but essentially it’s still me and James, so it’s still what we do. So it has a lot of similar elements, but we did specifically try to start at different places to experiment and see what happened.
This strategy led to an array of songs that display his wide-ranging production chops, from the Zombies-esque psychedelia of "The Angel and the Fool," to the more modern one-two punch of "After The Disco" and "Holding on for Life." This is an album where analog and digital coalesce in a way that makes its influences difficult to pin down -- you can hear sounds from each of the past six decades within, but Broken Bells shift terrain too quickly to invite simple comparisons to bygone eras. This is genre-mashing, no-holds-barred modernism at its most dignified.
In fact, a lot of discussion surrounding this album is due to the genre name-drop in its title, which Danger Mouse also addressed in the aforementioned interview:
"Obviously it wasn’t anything to do with disco, and we’ve had to explain that a lot because nothing on the record really sounds likes disco music at all. This song would have been done about a year ago, so there wasn’t that whole Daft Punk disco-y thing yet. We just thought After The Disco, it’s a cool sounding thing. Kind of, 'After the party is over with, there’s the rest of your life.' It was simple enough to us, and we never thought anyone would ever think our music was disco because if you listen to it, it’s just not. But, of course, our first single sounds a little like the Bee Gees, so we kind of screwed ourselves into having to talk about that after adding After The Disco, it adds up to something to think about."
When coupled with the album's last track, entitled "The Remains of Rock and Roll," we're certainly left with a lot to think about in the wake of an album that's a veritable grab-bag of sounds. With a chorus of, "We prefer good love to gold and the remains of Rock and Roll," Broken Bells seem to both imagine and illustrate music in a post-genre world. It's an ambitious concept for sure, but one that's sure to make people think twice before they pigeonhole this band as "indie," "disco" or anything else.
View the album's tracklist below, and head over to Broken Bells' Zumic artist page for more music, videos and upcoming tour dates.
Broken Bells After The Disco tracklist
1. Perfect World - 6:24
2. After the Disco - 3:39
3. Holding on for Life - 3:56
4. Leave It Alone - 5:30
5. The Changing Lights - 3:48
6. Control - 3:41
7. Lazy Wonderland - 3:21
8. Medicine - 3:28
9. No Matter What You're Told - 3:50
10. The Angel and the Fool - 3:15
11. The Remains of Rock and Roll - 4:54