The Broken West
The Broken West
Label: Merge Records
Genre: Rock
Online: Artist Website


The Broken West formed in Los Angeles in the summer of 2004, a group of friends from all across the country, coming together based on their mutual love of music. Originally known as The Brokedown, the band changed their name in the fall of 2006 in response to concerns from another band out of Chicago with a similar name. Names may change, but great music still remains.

So far in their young rock and roll life The Broken West have already released a critically acclaimed EP – The Dutchman’s Gold – and criss-crossed the country several times, we're assuming in a beat-up van. In January 2007, Merge released their debut full length, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On, wherein the lads craft their roughly elegant pop with infectious confidence that belies their relatively short career to date.

I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On is a true power pop gem – shimmering and cool, with sharp edges and soaring melodies – recorded over the course of a year (July 2005-August 2006) under the watchful eye and patient, insightful ears of engineer Raymond Richards at his Red Rockets Glare studio in Rancho Park, CA. The process was truly a labor of love, wherein the band grew by leaps and bounds as songwriters and musicians. The results are captured on a record that ranks with the best of debuts, a mature and cohesive album. Like any great pop record, I Can’t Go On, I’ll Go On deals with eternal themes of isolation, distance and the longing for a center – a sense of place – in this topsy-turvy world. The Kinks, Big Star, and The Byrds are obvious touchstones, as well as more contemporary favorites like Spoon and Teenage Fanclub, but The Broken West's triumphant songs stand strongly on their own.

Over the last several years, LA has once again become a fertile proving ground for many young musicians and bands. Not since its psych-pop heyday in the late 60’s or the punk explosion of the early 80’s, has the volume and variety of great music emerging from southern California been this diverse. The Broken West hail from the Echo Park and Silverlake neighborhoods that serve as an epicenter of this new LA “scene,” and while they soak it all up like the warm California sun, playing scores of shows with a wide variety of contemporaries, our heroes have never really felt a part of any particular scene or movement. Instead they have formed a tight bond as a band, favoring their mutual appreciation for the classic pop of earlier generations over any sort of flavor-of-the-month trend or fashion. Listening to tracks like “Down In The Valley,” “So It Goes” or “Hale Sunrise,” you can hear the universal themes of longing and loss tempered by the hope and optimism of bright sunny melodies and hooks so catchy that they seem instantly familiar.