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Sailing To Nowhere - Broken Bells

Sailing To Nowhere

Broken Bells
indie experimental indie rock rock electronic


BLOCK: Let's listen to one of the songs. This is "Sailing to Nowhere." (Soundbite of song, "Sailing to Nowhere") BROKEN BELLS: (Singing) (Unintelligible). BLOCK: Brian, what are we hearing here? Mr. BURTON: Oh, gosh. Mr. MERCER: See that part sounds like a sample, yeah. Mr. BURTON: This is a Wurlitzer with an acoustic guitar, and then it changes over to this really psychedelic kind of it strums and Hammond organ, yeah. I kind of meant for it to sound like it was this inserted piece from somewhere else, maybe. (Soundbite of song, "Sailing to Nowhere") BROKEN BELLS: (Singing) (Unintelligible). BLOCK: There are lots of shades, I think, of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in here, right? Mr. MERCER: I hear that now. I hear that now that you say that, but I hadn't before. Mr. BURTON: I mean, the idea that these things could be, there could be all these changes and go here and go there, that's great. You know, I mean, we obviously love The Beatles, and we really wanted to make something that had our influences in them for sure, you know, but still sounds like it's still James, and there's still, I guess, me in there somewhere. BLOCK: What's happening at the end of this song? We're hearing sort of crowd sound. I think there's a train, somebody whistling. Mr. MERCER: I pictured it as... Mr. BURTON: As a harbor, right? Mr. MERCER: Yeah, I pictured it as the final sort of docking of this ship on which something disastrous has happened. Mr. BURTON: Yeah. (Soundbite of song, "Sailing to Nowhere") Mr. MERCER: There's a story about a ship coming into harbor in the 1340s, bringing the plague to Europe. These sailors showed up and they were in a horrible state. They had black, apple-sized goiters on their body. I mean, it was the beginning of the end of, I guess, half of the population of Europe, right? BLOCK: Now, is that what you were thinking about when you wrote this song, or is that just - you've added after the fact? Mr. MERCER: It's imagery that, while we were working on it, was going through my head.


Broken Bells is an American indie rock duo which formed in 2009 in Los Angeles. The band consists of James Mercer (vocals, guitar) and Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton (multiple instruments, production). Mercer is a member of the indie rock band The Shins and Burton is a member of Gnarls Barkley and Dangerdoom, as well as being a respected producer for such artists as Beck, Gorillaz, The Rapture and The Black Keys. The debut self-titled album by Broken Bells was released on Columbia Records on March 9, 2010. Show more ...

Sailing To Nowhere - Broken Bells

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