Released 28/06/2010 on Columbia Records. Review originally appeared on GIITTV.

It seems apparent that the earnest downplayed moving reflections of feel of Sparklehorse have had quite an effect on Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse. After all he worked with the tragic Mark Linkous back in 2006, their brief union leaving an indelible trace on this, Burton’s present project – Broken Bells.

The Shins main man James Mercer fronts this band, that settles for subtle hooks and a low level live feel, which plays against the sedated intricate electronic backing to great effect.

This their second single from the well received self titled debut, begins with Mercer singing in a quite high pitch, complete with a slight raspy echo, whilst the mid-tempo grooves amble along in the style of Benzi Box, from the DangerDoom collaboration.

Handclaps, tight delayed drums and a bumbling low bass line creates a smooth slice of funk, infused with an atmosphere that evokes scenes of a bunch of session musicians jamming in a basement – queue the video. There is also a highly infectious bright piano and synth melody refrain, used to break the slow momentum and at times cosy disposition.

Though toned down and indolent in nature, ‘The Ghost Inside’ manages to cheeringly grow on you after only a few plays, and dare I say, is actually quite catchy.

In all a relaxed sophisticated sound for the summer, which carries an underlying message about a hapless girls decision to sell her soul for lucre.

3/5

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