Broken Bells - Meyrin Fields [EP]
Broken Bells, for those that missed the project first time around, is a collaboration between Midas-touch producer Danger Mouse and James Mercer of indie giants The Shins. They make summery, upbeat indie pop that's easy to listen to and even easier to like.
Meyrin Fields opens on a reggae-tinged feel-good vibe, with 'An Easy Life'. On debut album Broken Bells, the most striking element was how well Mercer's voice fitted with a sunny non-Shins backing, and northing's changed here, right from the start, the high/low vocal harmonies entice the sun out, sit you down and hand you a cold beer.
'Heartless Empire' offers a different lo-fi/pop vibe, with meandering vocoder vocals being backed with droning surf guitar fuzz and a clumsily lolloping bassline. Final track 'Windows' takes Meyrin Fields in a darker direction, toying with a guitar riff that sounds like Muse being beamed back from The International Space Station, but keeping the infectious pop aesthetic.
The EP does exactly what it's supposed to, every song represents a different style and genre, and there's a strong sense that Meyrin Fields is designed as a sounding board for the band's second album. There are no surprises here, and it's not going to blow you away, but as a glimpse of where Broken Bells go from here it's a decent stopgap for existing fans and a fairly good introduction for latecomers to the party.