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The Shins

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. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: So Says I (Single)

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Track List: Goodbye Girl (CD Single)

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Track List: Live At The Austin City Limits Music Festival 2006

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Track List: No Way Down / Fall Of '82 (Swift Sessions) (Single)

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Track List: Simple Song (Single)

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Track List: So Now What (Single)

Comments

I think this is my favorite song on my Indie Folk Revival Radio station. I always get excited when it comes on, and have to turn it up.
YOU GUYS ARE MY FAVORITE BAND!������� � (I am a cat) �� is my mark
Modest Mouse is trash.
patrickmar2
Great song
birdygirl73
Love this song!
This rocks
The shins are truly gods compared to modest mouse. Modest mouse makes sane people's ears bleed.
If you read this you will be kissed i the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this , you will die in two days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. Post it on five songs. 143 minutes. When done press f6 and lovers name will appear in big letters. It actually works
the tibias
Say iPhone 5x say a color post this on 5 other songs and look under your pillow
Amazing band.
I feel like I have heard this song in a film before...
Deep artist james mercer tells a story of changing events
Love is such a delicate thing that we do with nothing to prove, which I never knewwwww. ����❤️�� God I'm in love with this song.
When you feel like the ocean, be warmed by the sun ❤️����
mark55047
Sweet and groovy
Groovy
Modest Mouse is trash? What do you know about music, you philistine.
What's it like in Albuquerque?
Love this song. Heard it on himym:)
Issac Brock vocals are great
Sea Legs is pretty cool :)
Iphone5
This is from the Garden state, love this song, and band <3
love new slang
I hate this song!
I hate this song!
I hate this song!
cavelitist
Come to Chicago :)
J_mon69
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.
I swear I've heard this in a movie but I can't remember which one
Love their songs so much!!
Put the goggles on-NO!
No, in New Slang it says, " Gold teeth and a curse for this town" At least I think that's the part you're talking about.
In new slag does it say "and gold tits to the wind"?
wgreywolf
i spent much of 2004 listening to chutes too narrow just to get me through a harsh break-up. balm for the soul
Phantom Limb-my new jam
They're music makes me happy! Love this group! :D
I'm very beatable in a footrace
SHINS!!!!
I love the shins!!!!
Modest Mouse is trash. These guys are pretty good.
I am 53. The Shins are my fave banf. I am also a musician. James Mercer is an amazing stpryteller!
bonkaideadey e
That's so tight, I never knew The Shins are from Abq. I live not too far from their. Nice!!
Anyone who spams The Shins should go to hell.
redspidey
The Art of Getting By ❤
I absolutely love The Shins.
Good question! But eh, British or not I love em' :)
dpamilla
Why do they sound british if they're from New Mexico?
Modest Mouse and the Shins are both soooo amazing!!!
Ohmygosh i meant Shins! Sorrrrry
The s**ts! Theyre soooooo goood them and modest mouse
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