Broken Bells, 'After the Disco' (January 14th)
"I'm not so young anymore," said Danger Mouse, the 36-year-old producer-musician in advance of the new album from Broken Bells. "Is this the way it's supposed to be?" That angst helped inspire After the Disco (out January 14th), his second collaboration with James Mercer of indie kings the Shins. Where synth swirls dominated the band's self-titled 2010 debut, Burton kept the equipment to a minimum this time, building sparser soundscapes for Mercer to sing over. (Though lead single 'Holding On for Life' has a dancefloor kick.) As Burton told us late last year about the new effort, "You can dance to it, but it still has the darker melancholy thing we like to do." Broken Bells have already announced they'll take the new music on the road in February.