The Shins have gotten with it in the past couple of years. With Mercer’s collaboration with Danger Mouse, to wandering the earth trying to figure out what is going on with the world, they’ve been busy to say the least.
With the passing of time and space comes a brand new set of highly anticipated woeful songs that brings about the energy, or lack thereof, The Shins are known for. James Mercer and the rest of the crew are getting ready for their upcoming release Port of Morrow,March 20, which will be their first album since 2007’s Wincing The Night Away, and Shins fans know it’s been long overdue.
“Simple Song” can be regarded as a blast from the past with a hint of minty freshness. If you’re a fan of The Who and Band of Horses you’ll understand what I’m getting at. While Mercer’s melodic voice intertwines with piano, heavy guitar, and choral voices ala BOH, you’ll be reminded of any track from Chutes Too Narrow, but the freshness that Broken Bells were successful at.
With Mercer’s long tenure and pliability with other works, “Simple Song” has a rich influence of their New Mexico birthplace, while toeing that fine line ofmastering that “underproduced” sound. This song has found that bridge between what was and is to come with The Shins without being overly produced. While much of the legwork and music was done solely by Mercer himself, he’s found a nice puzzle piece with Kylie Minogue/Lily Allen/Kelly Clarkson producer Greg Kurstin. With Kurstin’s mastering and Mercer’s ingenuity and flexibility, this song finds that happy rhythm that Shins fans have been waiting for.
Maybe The Shins have been looking toward the hot New Mexico sun via Portland far too long, or maybe this could be their welcome back with open arms, regardless Port of Morrow will promise anything but simple songs.