Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Little Shin Music

The Shins are not exactly life changing, as Natalie Portman's character in the movie Garden State suggests, but they are one of the truly great indie rock bands, and the release this week of their first album since the excellent Wincing the Night Away in 2007, is cause for excitement.

A New York Times profile of frontman James Mercer describes the Shins as "one of the most beloved alternative bands of the 2000s, exploring evergreen topics like romantic anxiety and adult growing pains with a jangly, idiosyncratic sound and Mr. Mercer’s strikingly naked vocals."  It says that the new record Point of Morrow includes "some comfortingly familiar moments, " with "newer kinks in the texture," and  a "newfound maturity."

A review in Ology heaps praise on the new album:  "The Shins have been too consistently good over the past decade to pick an easy favorite, but Port Of Morrow might actually be their crowning achievement. . . . The Shins keep getting bolder, brighter, and better with each new release".

In anticipation, here's an NPR link to a recent concert in New York, which includes some of the band's classic older songs and a few of the newer ones. 

Below the break are two promising songs from the new album, which they performed on SNL:


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