Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields EP

written by: April 13, 2011
Release Date: March 29, 2011


At first, it’s a promising jam. “An Easy Life” starts the Meyrin Fields EP with a mysterious tune. It features an upbeat intro before it coasts into an easygoing rhythmic rollercoaster followed by a more rugged “Heartless Empire,” which is also easy to float on. Though they don’t start the EP strikingly, they’re two decent melancholy tracks. Once we hear the title track, there is assurance that the entire setting is slow. “Meyrin Fields” is an ominous telling of something that is clearly not good. It’s a bit catchy, but it might not please its followers. “Windows,” a track that has a neat beat with high vocals and some low guitar, closes the collection. It’s cool, but it really isn’t fun.

Meyrin Fields EP is true to the Broken Bells that fans first heard back in 2009.

The project started 18 months ago when producer Danger Mouse got together with The Shins front-man James Mercer. The sound they produced was exciting, innovative and current. It featured heavy synth and new audio implementations that rocked the speakers of indie rock lovers everywhere. Their self-titled debut was certainly a hit. So when they set out to produce the new EP, they set the bar high. What we hear in the four new tracks is the essential Broken Bells. It’s heavy on the electronic accompanied by quick, low beats and the familiar range of vocals. This is the comforting feeling attached to the sampler they’ve just put out.

What’s not as chipper is the mood that rides alongside the melodic current. Meyrin Fields is focused on the scary relationship between highs and lows. And when it goes low, it stays low. In fact, most of the set is a dark flow of words and tones. Even though “Meyrin Fields” might perform well on alternative radio stations, the EP as a whole is a little discomforting. Take “Meyrin Fields” out of context, and you’ve got a hit. Look at it any other way, and it’ll dampen your mood. Way to go, Broken Bells. This one’s a buzzkill.

Broken Bells – Meyrin Fields EP Tracklist:

  1. “Meyrin Fields”
  2. “Windows”
  3. “An Easy Life”
  4. “Heartless Empire”