Overlooked anthemsBroken Bells singer James Mercer and the five tracks on heavy rotation in his studio.
James Mercer is a busy man. The 42-year-old from Hawaii is lead singer of The Shins, whose playful, psychedelic indie songs have been conquering charts and critics’ hearts for a dozen years.
Since 2009, he has also been involved in Broken Bells, with his friend Danger Mouse (one half of Gnarls Barkley, and producer of The Black Keys and Norah Jones). As a duo, they proclaim their love of obscure pop and understatedly odd dance music, which works splendidly: Broken Bells’ debut album sold 700,000 copies in the U.S. A second album, After the Disco, is out now. Here, Mercer reveals what inspired him as he was working on it