James Mercer and Danger Mouse, the collaborative duo behind Broken Bells, continue to tease their next album release with this new single.
This week, we’ve been looking at both new contemporary songs, as well as old classics we haven’t touched in a while. On Monday, we listened to “Tiny Love” from MIKA’s new album, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook”, which was released last Friday, October 4th. And yesterday, we took a look at Pink Floyd’s classic, “Time”, from “The Dark Side of the Moon” in honor of the day the album left the Billboard chart for a record breaking number of weeks.
It’s been almost a year since the world has heard anything about the long-awaited new Broken Bells album. Last December, the duo released the first single and tease for the album with the song, “Shelter”. While we all thought we should be getting a release date by now, so far that information is still being withheld. It’s either an amazing marketing strategy to stir up anticipation around the album, or evidence that it’s not quite finished yet. Or, quite possibly, it’s both.
So before we get into the song itself, let’s go over everything we know so far about the new Broken Bells album.
While the upcoming third Broken Bells album doesn’t have a release date yet, we do have confirmation that both James Mercer and Danger Mouse have begun to get together for recording. Along with the two new songs they’ve released as evidence, they also released a joint statement about the project itself.
“Both of us are constantly working on music at any given time, yet we always drift back to one another as Broken Bells. When it happens naturally, it happens—and right now it’s happened in the form of writing and recording sessions for the third Broken Bells album.”
After Broken Bells’ last album, 2014’s “After the disco”, both Mercer and Danger Mouse have been involved in several other projects and collaborations. Mercer released his fifth Shins album, “Heartworms”, as well as the follow up, “The Worm’s Heart”. Meanwhile, Danger Mouse produced several albums, as well as worked with Karen O for the collaboration album “Lux Prima”.
In “Good Luck” Mercer and Danger Mouse reflect on the bleakness of modern times, while asking only somewhat ironically, “But have we really ever lived in better times?”.
In the same joint statement mentioned above, Mercer and Danger Mouse provide some insight into the release of “Good Luck”. “As with ‘Shelter,’ we wanted to release ‘Good Luck’ while it felt timely and reflective of specific discussions between the two of us, questioning the state of things, as we do.”
The song itself sounds very familiar to the rest of Broken Bells’ catalog, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Looping drums with a strong bass line set the foundation for “Good Luck”, and allow Mercer’s voice to carry overhead, accented by keyboards, guitar, and synth to give it a lush feel.
The lyrics to “Good Luck” aren’t the most optimistic, but nevertheless, they’re somehow slightly comforting. Maybe it’s the way that Mercer sings them, or maybe it’s the slightly major feel coming out of the minor key.
The first verse begins with some of the bleakest vocals, “The face of evil is on the news tonight / We see the darkness over light”. But strangely, it ends on a slightly more positive note. Or at least, an ambiguous one.
“Hey, strange, they say we’re coming to the end of the line
But is there still a chance to change your mind?
Or have all the colors turn to black and white?”
More than any of the other lines, however, there’s a pair in particular that seem to sum up the essential message of the song. It’s just a short couplet, but really manages to capture the feeling behind the song.
“Good luck, my friend
In time it ends”
Just like the release of “Shelter” almost a year ago, “Good Luck” has only increased my own anticipation for the new Broken Bells album. If anything, it’s really good marketing. But I suppose when you’re marketing such a good product, you can really just let it sell itself. Hopefully though, we won’t be getting the entire album dished out in rationed singles over the next five years.
That about finishes up our discussion for today. I hope you enjoyed listening to and learning about the new Broken Bells single, “Good Luck”. We’ll be back tomorrow with another song to keep you going throughout the rest of the week.