Indie Rockers The Shins are back with “Heartworms” and 11 new tracks we’re loving.

Hit single “Name for You” wins us over with all of the elements that make their sound engaging and unique.  Upbeat tempos, intricate arrangements and fun choruses alongside James Mercer’s appealing lead vocals still triumph.

Romantic romp “Cherry Hearts” is sheer fun.

And Mercer channels Marc Knopfler on the drifty, dreamy “Mildenhall.”


The Shins “Heartworms,” out now on Columbia Records.

The Shins on rewind

In 2004, The Shins breakout hit “New Slang” was featured in the movie “Garden State.”

In a 2-year span it helped jumpstart the sale of 100,000 copies of “Oh, Inverted World.” The wistful hit single also enabled the band’s relocation from Albuquerque to Portland.

Grammy-nominated “Wincing the Night Away” was released in 2008, and it’s been 5 years since “Port of Morrow,” a satisfying collection of well-crafted tracks including standout hit single “Simple Song.”

On the new album, one of the best so far this year, rich pop melodies and engaging lyrics – like the title track – are still their strong suit. Soaring proclamation “Fantasy Island” also captivates.

Not surprisingly, “Heartworms” debuted in the #1 position on Billboard’s alternative charts.

The Shins are: James Mercer, songwriter, vocals, guitar; Jon Sortland, drums; Mark Watrous, guitar; Patti King, keyboards; Casey Foubert, guitar; and Yuuki Matthews, bass.

Other album high points?

The whole collection is indelible fun, but you’re sure to love the Sgt. Pepper-esque vibe of “Dead Alive”:

Dead Alive

On tour

Touring to promote the new album, The Shins play The Edgefield in June, heading to Europe in August.

Find music by The Shins on Amazon, iTunes, or on their website.

Cynthia Orlando
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