Posts Tagged ‘James Mercer’

Broken Bells - Good Luck

Danger Mouse and James Mercer have reunited on “Good Luck,” a fatalistic new single that broods on the desolation of our current day and age. A pounding bass sits at the forefront while Mercer sings of looking “the face of evil” in the eye. “Head up, dead lamb,” he sings, acknowledging that our sacrifice has already been made. Upon declaring that “there’s no divine right,” lines like “In time, it ends” then feel like a promise for a light at the end of the tunnel. While Danger Mouse collaborated with Karen O for Lux Prima earlier this year, Mercer has been mostly quiet since The Shins’ 2018 surprise release of The Worm’s Heart, a reworking of their fifth album Heartworms.

In a joint statement, the duo officially announced an upcoming LP. “We always drift back to one another as Broken Bells,” they stated in their press release for the single. “Right now it’s happened in the form of writing and recording sessions for the third Broken Bells album.”

The Shins lead singer James Mercer, pictured in the band's new video for song Mildenhall. Picture: The Shins

James Mercer gives a country-ish story song the Shins treatment, complete bubbling sound effects and a big entrance by a skating rink organ. The sound is comfy and relaxed, but the sweet storytelling is the star. Mercer recounts the details of his musical awakening as an Air Force brat – bonding with the cool kids over shoes, concerts and a tape by the Jesus and Mary Chain.

An American indie rock band with roots in Suffolk has released a tribute to Mildenhall as its latest single.

The Shins latest release, Mildenhall, reflects on leader singer James Mercer’s time living at RAF Mildenhall as a teenager. The musician moved to the airbase aged 15, after his dad was stationed there. The lyrics say: “At 15 we had to leave the States again, dad was stationed at an RAF station they called Mildenhall.

“Black moss on a busted wall, the cobblestones made it hard to skate I thought my flattop was so new wave, Until it melted away in the Suffolk rain. Well god damn, you miss the USA.”

The song, featured on the band’s Heartworms album, talks about watching bands down the corn exchange and his sister’s time at the local tanning salon. “I wonder where my sister was that night, back at home under the tanning bed lights, “I can still see the glow, strange rays from her window each night, as I was skating home.

“Started messing with my dad’s guitar, taught me some chords just to start me off, “Whittling away on those rainy days “And that’s how we get to where we are now.”

Today marks the release of The Shins new album “Heartworms”. However, the record may actually just be the first taste of something more to come, as the band has revealed that they recorded an alternate, “flipped” version.

According to a press release, James Mercer undertook a songwriting exercise in which he rewrote each song “from scratch” until he had two completely different albums. “Mercer’s ability to create two totally divergent albums from the same underlying compositions not only highlights his immense capability as a songwriter,” explains the press release, “but also functions as a reminder of what it means to be an artist, how an artist acts as both the master and facilitator of his artistic product.”

Our first listen to what this “parallel reality” album sounds like comes thanks to the twin videos for “Name For You”. the band have released the album version of the track. Directed by The Shins’ drummer Jon Sortland, the video follows skateboarders Savannah Headden and Samarria Brevard on a lo-fi day in Southern California.
Now take a listen to the “flipped” version, which is a far darker, new-wave take on the catchy single. The video for this version was directed by Zaiba Jabbar with help from Sortland and Mark Watrous, and it stars Transparent actress Trace Lysette. If you head to The Shins’ website, you can play both videos simultaneously, seamlessly switching back and forth with an interactive switch. There’s no word yet on when we might get a listen to the entire alternate versions of Heartworms, so lookout for more details .
In addition to the videos and new music, The Shins have expanded the itinerary for one of the most anticipated tours this year .

The Shins are normally focused on the future, but “Heartworms”, their first album in five years and fifth since 2001, takes a small step into the past. From the first notes of opening track “Name for You”, we get a hint that this album may not stray too far from its predecessors. The nicely placed “Mildenhall” hearkens back to old Shins music. We hear an acoustic guitar and distant, gentle electronic beats accompanying James Mercer as he shows off his lower range. In a Willie Nelson-esque singing style, he remembers being a lonely boy, moving around the country because his father, a member of the Royal Air Force, had to transfer locations. After a classmate passes Mercer a tape, he finds a passion for music and, as he sings: “That’s how we get to where we are now.”

Fans respect artists who evolve, improve, and explore new sounds, or some combination of those. And it’s not always pretty, but it’s admirable as long as done valiantly and with curiosity. The Shins tried to do that; they attempted to step out of their comfort zone with Heartworms.

Another lyric that takes us down memory highway surfaces in “So Now What”. After introducing the song with a mini-me of the iconic synth in The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly”, The Shins put the most memorable melody of the album in the chorus of this song. “I had this crazy idea,” Mercer sings. “Somehow we’d coast to the end/ Change lies in every direction, tonight/ Guess we’ll just begin again.”

Besides these two songs, the record’s other high point is “Painting a Hole”, a song with a contagious beat and somewhat ominous la-las. The synth-keyboard sound pulses while the bass runs, sliding up and down the neck. Once you hit the chorus, Mercer shows off his edgier falsetto. Fortunately, the album sends us off with the best song, the “The Fear”. It begins with a kick-ride-rim shot combo, joined by a mandolin and violins, Even though most of the song consists of two chords, it quickly proves itself to be the perfect ending to decent collection of songs.

Image result for the shins

The Shins are releasing their new album “Heartworms” next week, and have shared another of its tracks, ‘Painting A Hole’. The new record is the first in five years from James Mercer and co, and they’re set to tourthe album around Europe later this month, after making their comeback at last year’s “End Of The Road” Festival .

Talking about the new track, Mercer says: ”People create beliefs or inherit them and those beliefs very rarely reflect the reality we live in every day. Like a coyote in a cartoon, painting a hole in the side of a cliff then falling through it, I think these belief systems are just about as ridiculous as that.”

The track follows previous “Dead Alive, Name For You, and Mildenhall in previewing the album, the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Port of Morrow’.

Listen to ‘Painting A Hole’. The Shins will also be playing the Glasgow, O2 Academy (BBC6 Music Festival).

the shins 2017.jpg

The Albuquerque six-piece are gearing up for their first release in four years
The Shins have teased more new music ahead of their much-anticipated fifth album “Heartworms”. The good news: The Shins are back with a new album. The not-so-good news: it’s not out until March 10th. So we still have a couple months to wait but we have heard two singles from the album so far—“Name For You” and “Dead Alive”. Seemingly intent on leaking their whole album before it streets, The Shins have taken to Minnesota Public Radio to play another new song.

The band haven’t put out a full-length record since 2012’s ‘Port Of Morrow’, but frontman James Mercer confirmed last week that they were releasing a new album.

Anticipation for new material was ramped up earlier after The Shins‘ official Facebook page shared a teaser clip of what appears to be a clip from another new song. Entitled ‘The Fear’, the 10-second clip features a psychedelic backdrop as reverb-drenched vocals play over the top – the lyrics “squanders the deal” can be made out.

From Heartworms, coming 10th March

No automatic alt text available.

The Shins are back with the group’s first new album since 2012’s Port Of Morrow. “Heartworms” is set to drop on March 10th through Aural Apothecary/Columbia Records. In making the announcement today, the band shared the joyfully infectious pop cut “Name For You” as a lyric video.

Frontman James Mercer produced Heartworms on his own, a first since The Shins‘ 2001 debut album, Oh, Inverted World. He says the new music was inspired, in part, by growing older and parenthood. “Name For You” is a hopeful ode of empowerment to Mercer’s daughters.

“Given all the drops in the ocean, better take it one sip at a time,” Mercer sings. “Somebody with an antique notion comes along to tighten the line, they’re just afraid of you speaking your mind.”

This is the second song the band has shared from Heartworms. In October, The Shins released a Halloween Themed Video/song “Dead Alive.”

The SHINS – ” Dead Alive “

Posted: December 30, 2016 in MUSIC
Tags: ,

James Mercer ( with Broken Bells) | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Everyone’s favorite early 2000’s indie rock band is back with their brand new track, “Dead Alive.” The song feels like classic Shins with light and airy vocals, easy going guitars, and a melody that will have you dusting off your Garden State DVD by the time it’s over. The video is probably one of the best videos I’ve seen in a while, as it’s filled with awesome miniature effects and late 70s’ charm

The Shins have given us a treat of a new track “Dead Alive,” from their forthcoming album, due in 2017.

The band’s last album, Port Of Morrow, was released in 2012. Since then, Shins front man James Mercer released After The Disco, the second collection of songs he collaborated on with Danger Mouse, as Broken Bells. The Shins also contributed a new song to the Wish I Was Here soundtrack in 2014, and covered “The Word” by The Beatles for the Netflix animated series Beat Bugs.

The band’s forthcoming album, does not yet have a release date or a title, however it will be released in 2107.