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Not since 2007 has the world heard from The Shins. It’s been nearly five years, but The Shins have finally released a new album. Fans of the Shins may find things slightly different though; a lot has changed. The lead singer of the Shins, James Mercer is, and always has been, the driving force behind the band.
The way that he goes is the way the band goes, and that is part of the reason for the hiatus. Following the highly regarded 2007 album Wincing The Night Away, Mercer felt like he needed a break from the world of the Shins, and he decided to take some time off to work with side projects.
Mercer went on to work with the band Modest Mouse, singing back-up vocals for their album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. He also collaborated with his friend Brian Burton, better known as Danger Mouse. This team-up with Danger Mouse led to the formation of the band Broken Bells.
Together, they released a self-titled album, which garnered much acclaim. The success and touring of Broken Bells led to much speculation over the continuation of the new constellation. They did release an EP titled Meyrin Fields in 2011 but ultimately, Mercer decided it was time to return to The Shins.
The Shins were finished with their previous record deal with Sub Pop Records after their album in 2007, and for their new album, Mercer decided to release it on his own label, Aural Apothecary.
But before fans could get excited for The Shins working on a new album, there were some changes to the band. When all was said and done, Mercer was the only remaining original member of the band and under the new lineup, the shuffled Shins went to work on a new album. Eventually, they were all set to release Port of Morrow.
Released on March 20, Port of Morrow is a 10-track album, plus two bonus tracks, that has received mostly favorable reviews so far. The Shins still sound like The Shins, but die-hard fans may be able to notice some differences.
The album features many beautiful instrumentations, both upbeat and mellow, and vocals undeniably gorgeous from Mercer. The first single release was Simple Song, a track that will fit in with any mix of Shins hits. No doubt fans may be upset over the lineup changes, but no one should be upset that The Shins are back.
Image Courtesy of http://www.theshins.com