This one took me by surprise when I saw it tweeted out by Confusion over at Pigeons and Planes. I was immediately excited; I haven’t heard new music from James Mercer and the Shins in longer than I can remember, other than Mercer’s work with Dangermouse on Broken Bells. It’s been five years since the last Shins project, and any new Shins music is really exciting for me. Port of Morrow, their new album, is set to release on March 20th on Mercer’s imprint label. I’ve been a Shins fan since their first album, Oh, Inverted World, and songs like A Comet Appears, Caring is Creepy, Australia, and Sleeping Lessons remind me distinctly of memories throughout my life. Music always has an interesting ability to stir up old memories, of people and places remembered or forgotten, in a way that almost no other art can.
We Will Become Silhouettes, a cover of Ben Gibbard’s Postal Service’s song of the same name, reminds me of driving around my hometown when I first got my driver’s license–makes me miss early fall in Chicago. This one’s a little more “Know Your Onion!” than “New Slang,” which can sound a little annoying if you’re not in the right mood, but Mercer’s still got it and I dig the straightforwardness of the song, aptly titled “Simple Song.” The fast guitar riff that plays at times throughout the song is pretty awesome, kind of showy in a Queen-esque manner. I can’t stop wanting to compare the Shins to this millennium’s answer to Yes–does anybody else see that?