THE SHINS inspire the kind of adulation that, if you were ever to meet them in person, would surely end up in acute embarrassment. You’d find yourself uncontrollably blabbering to James Mercer about how extraordinary his lyrics are, how you made a mix tape of their songs while courting your true love and as a result your life has never been the same since.
The American band’s debut album Oh, Inverted World introduced mankind to New Slang, a song so moving it pretty much inspired an entire movie (Garden State); second album Chutes Too Narrow is possibly the best record ever made, 10 tracks of unadulterated musical intoxication; while this year’s Wincing The Night Away enchants with its peerless pop splendour.
What makes The Shins so special? It’s in their effortless vocal harmonies, it’s in their impeccable musicianship which brims with melody, it’s in Mercer’s storytelling which is rich in imagery and beautifully poetic, and it’s in the fact they can pull it all together on stage to make an experience that would be almost religious if we weren’t such raving atheists.
They’ll soon be gracing Scotland with their presence. Leave your inhibitions at the door.