Holding On For Life

Album: After The Disco (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • Broken Bells are an indie rock duo comprising vocalist James Mercer of The Shins and producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. This is the lead single from their After The Disco album.
  • The song finds vocalist James Mercer channeling his inner Barry Gibb. "I was in the vocal booth and I was like, 'Let me try this falsetto thing,'" he recalled to NME. "But it was when we doubled the track that I was like, 'Oh my God, it's the f---ing Bee Gees! On a Shins record, that song would sound like a joke, but with Broken Bells, you change the context and it works really well."
  • The After the Disco album comes paired with a sci-fi short film directed by Jacob Gentry and starring Anton Yelchin (Star Trek Into Darkness, Terminator Salvation) and Kate Mara (House of Cards, American Horror Story). The second segment shares its title with this song, which features prominently in the promo. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Gentry said he envisioned the video as a successor to another Broken Bells clip, 2010's "The Ghost Inside." "The last video we had done for 'The Ghost Inside' was more like a narrative short film done in a similar way, so we thought this could be a spiritual sequel," he said. "But we wanted this to be more fantastical, psychedelic — like Logan's Run and Barbarella — but still live in the Broken Bells universe. The vision for it is really a collaboration between Brian [Burton], James, the designer Jacob Escebedo, and myself coming together and vibing out on images and ideas that inspire the album and vice versa."
  • Mercer told NME regarding this song: "Brian is quite cynical about relationships, but this has a lot of my lines that are more sympathetic."

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