The Return

The Shins

Most Popular

In case the indie-music carrier pigeon hasn’t notified you yet, there’s a new Shins record out this month.

It’s five years since their last, Wincing the Night Away; five long years if you’re one of the people who helped it to sales of over 100,000, or if you’re Zach Braff, who introduced a whole swathe of fey indie hipsters to the band via the Shins-heavy soundtrack for his 2004 film Garden State.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

“It does sort of feel like a comeback,” says The Shins’ James Mercer, from his home in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife and two daughters. “I was filled with so much anticipation I could hardly sleep before this thing dropped. I feel very closely tied to the work that I do for The Shins, as you can imagine.”

Mercer’s been the main man of The Shins and responsible for their particular brand of tuneful melancholy since he started the band in 1999 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Lately he’s also been the only man; he parted ways with the other members in 2009 (though he’s since recruited some new ones for touring purposes).

Most Popular

In fact, he says, it was nearly game over for the band for a while. “There was a period of time, like, maybe in 2008, when I started to think I might want to drop The Shins and do something else, just start a new band,” he says.

The new band bit he did, teaming up with producer Danger Mouse to put out a record as Broken Bells in 2010 — and it cleared his head enough to convince him to give The Shins another shot. “I had worked for so long to build this presence in pop culture, it would be hard for me to just abandon it for some new thing.”

The new record, Port of Morrow, includes the decidedly ballsy “The Rifle’s Spiral” (“there’s a little bit more riffage going on this time,” he admits), and the positively cheerful “Simple Song”, released as a single in January.

Mercer says the track is about “being a father and a husband and how much I enjoy it”. Which all sounds very upbeat, and not at all like The Shins we know. “Maybe I just actually am more confident,” he says, “and somehow that translates.” (And don’t worry, last track “Port of Morrow”, he informs us, “is about death”, so he comes good at the end.)

Port of Morrow by The Shins is out on 19 March (Aural Apothecary/Columbia Records)

What do you think?

Culture
Share
Benedict Cumberbatch Sang Onstage With Pink Floyd's David Gilmour
The pair sang 'Comfortably Numb'
Mark Walhberg
Culture
Share
Mark Wahlberg Talks Success, Fatherhood And Burgers
A quick chat with the Deepwater Horizon actor​
Apple HQ Battersea
Culture
Share
Apple Is Setting Up A HQ In One Of London's Most Iconic Buildings
Welcome to Battersea, America​
Film
Share
Disney Is Remaking The Lion King Because Nothing Left In This World Is Sacred
Jon Favreau: step away from our childhoods​
Justin Vernon
Culture
Share
Album Review: 22, A Million By Bon Iver
​Bon Iver's new album has a spring in its step​
Warren Beatty
Film
Share
Warren Beatty Says He Didn't Actually Have Sex With 13,000 Women
That myth was too good to be true
fifa 17 gameplay
Culture
Share
This Is How Fifa Video Game Player Ratings Are Really Calculated
From the man in charge of creating them​
The Dude Big Lebowski
GIF
Film
Share
These Are The 21 Greatest Character Exits In Movie History
"The Dude abides"​​
Jamie Vardy
Culture
Share
Jamie Vardy Slowed His Injury Recovery Because He Loved Skittle Vodka Too Much
A hero we can relate to​​​
James Corden and Usain Bolt
TV
Share
Watch James Corden Take On Usain Bolt In A 100 Metre Sprint
Also starring Owen Wilson, for some reason​​​