|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

The Shins

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (361 ratings)
  • Formed: Albuquerque, NM
  • Years Active: 1990s, 2000s
  • Website: http://www.theshins.com
  • Recent Activity: 11.17.14 RT @nprmusic: First Listen: Flake Music, 'When You Land Here, It's Time To Return' http://t.co/eRNY27zzuu @TheShins
  • The Shins

  • The Shins

  • The Shins

  • The Shins

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

A classic guitar pop group almost nine years in the making, Albuquerque, New Mexico's the Shins began in 1997 as the side project of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Mercer's primary band, Flake. Mercer formed Flake in 1992 with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford; they eventually changed their name to Flake Music, releasing several singles, a well-received album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and touring with friends like Modest Mouse and Califone.

Soon after the release of When You Land Here, Mercer and Sandoval formed the Shins as a change of pace, playing as a duo with Cibo Matto and the American Analog Set. With Mercer as the Shins' primary songwriter, the group developed a more focused, crafted sound than Flake Music's charming, if somewhat rambling, collaborative style. Crandall, as well as Scared of Chaka's Dave Hernandez and Ron Skrasek, filled out the Shins' lineup; however, Hernandez and Skrasek left after a short while, due to the success of their main project. By 1999, Flake Music essentially disbanded and Langford also joined the Shins.

With a couple of 7"s on Omnibus -- 1998's "Nature Bears a Vacuum" and 2000's "When I Goose-Step" -- under their belts, the Shins embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse. Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman caught the San Francisco date of the tour and asked the Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually became an offer to release their 2001 single "New Slang" and their debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The group spent the rest of the year touring with acts such as Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. The release of the singles "Know Yr Onion!" and "The Past and the Pending" kept the Shins' success going into 2002, cementing Oh, Inverted World as one of the definitive indie rock albums of the early 2000s and the band as one of the style's definitive artists.

By the time the band recorded their second album, Chutes Too Narrow, Langford was replaced on bass by Dave Hernandez (ex-Scared of Chaka). The album appeared in fall 2003, their first to reach the Billboard charts. The Shins' profile increased drastically the next year when actor Zach Braff included several of their songs in his 2004 movie Garden State with one of the main characters going so far as to proclaim that "New Slang" would "change your life." Its follow-up, Wincing the Night Away, appeared in January 2007 and sold over a staggering 100,000 copies in its first week. The Shins had never before hit higher than number 86 on the Billboard charts, but the album's sales snagged the guys a debut spot of number two. (This was also a record for Sub Pop itself, as the label had only previously peaked at number 79 with the Afghan Whigs' 1996 album Black Love.) It was also nominated for a Grammy for Best Alternative Album.

In 2008, the band announced that their contract with Sub Pop was up, and that their next album would be released through Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label. The resulting Port of Morrow featured an all new backing band, including fellow songwriters Jessica Dobson and Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, and Yuuki Matthews from the Crystal Skulls. It arrived in March 2012, received generally positive reviews, and promptly reached number three on the Billboard charts.

more »

eMusic Features

0

Who Are…Light Heat

By Matthew Fritch, Contributor

Quentin Stoltzfus shot through the ranks of a late '90s Philadelphia psych-rock scene — a tightly-knit faction of retro-futurists that included the Lilys, Bardo Pond, Lenola, Photon Band, Azusa Plane and Asteroid #4 — on the back of a near-perfect dream-pop debut album. Watch It Happen, released under the name Mazarin, revealed Stoltzfus's talent for princely, soft-focus pop that was well aligned with peers such as Grandaddy and the Elephant 6 collective. Two more Mazarin… more »

1

New This Week: The Shins, Esperanza Spalding & More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

I've been back from Austin for about 48 hours, but my body is only just now starting to adjust to things like normal sleep patterns, being stationary for long periods of time, and not drinking beer every day. Soon, I will stop having dreams that I am being chased by a giant, furious side of brisket. I look forward to those days in breathless anticipation. Until they arrive, here's this week's New Arrivals: The Shins, Port… more »

Activity

  • 11.17.14 RT @nprmusic: First Listen: Flake Music, 'When You Land Here, It's Time To Return' http://t.co/eRNY27zzuu @TheShins
  • 11.13.14 RT @RollingStone: Hear the "fully realized" version of "The Shins," a song from James Mercer's old band Flake Music: http://t.co/MEKZeuKNk2
  • 09.17.14 RT @subpop: Hear @TheShins when they were still Flake Music. We've remastered 'When You Land Here...' for a 11/25 reissue. http://t.co/0ujQ…
  • 09.04.14 RT @transgressiveHQ: A legendary treat to download for free today from @TheShins as part of #Transgressive10 http://t.co/wLIlrdkyaH Magneti…
  • 08.05.14 .@zachbraff’s @WIWHFilm soundtrack, which features our new song #SoNowWhat, is now available on vinyl here: http://t.co/ku6JbngeBQ
  • 07.18.14 Check out @zachbraff’s new film @WIWHFilm in theaters today! Our new song #SoNowWhat is featured on the soundtrack: http://t.co/95NOCMaPg8
  • 07.15.14 Download @zachbraff’s @WIWHFilm soundtrack now on @iTunesMusic featuring our new song #SoNowWhat: http://t.co/95NOCMaPg8
  • 06.23.14 Listen to The Shins' new song #SoNowWhat from @zachbraff ’s 'Wish I Was Here' Soundtrack on @Vevo: http://t.co/xAozQ3Pjwh
  • 06.21.14 In case you missed it, our new song is out! http://t.co/Ph5z09yk49
  • 06.20.14 Pre-order @zachbraff ’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ soundtrack and get the new song by The Shins #SoNowWhat as an instant grat http://t.co/95NOCMaPg8
  • 05.19.14 RT @coslive: Hear a new song by @TheShins in the trailer for @ZachBraff's forthcoming film Wish I Was Here: http://t.co/5HuE2oX4e1
  • 04.07.14 RT @joeplumdog: Look who "brought the weather" Hew Time arrives! Thanks all @coadydrums dalecover joyfulnoiserecs http://t.co/MkWPjuEtKr