All about the Shins

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American indie rock music band The Shins was formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1997 with vocalist and multi-instrumentalist James Mercer the founding member. The group later relocated to a new base in Portland, Oregon. James started the band as a side project while he was still in Flake which he joined in 1992 with Jesse Sandoval playing the role of drummer, Neal Langford the bassist and Marty Crandall, the keyboardist.

Later they changed their name to Flake Music going on to release numerous singles and an album, When You Land Here, It’s Time to Return.Just after the album release by Flake Music, James Mercer and Sandoval began The Shins band with Mercer as its primary songwriter. It was due to the need to come up with a different sound unlike that of Flake Music to one that is more intensive. The addition of Dave Hernandez, Crandall and Ron Skrasek filled out the group, but later due to the success of their main gigs, Skrasek and Hernandez left. Eventually, Langford joined the Shins after disbanding Flakes Music.  After that, they embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse after their release of ‘Nature Bears a Vacuum’ in 1998 and ‘When I Goose Step; in 2000.

Oh, Inverted World

In June 2001 saw the release of the group’s first album. It was after an event held at San Francisco while performing with Modest Mouse, Sub Pop’s Poneman got The Shins to give him a single to be the Single of the Month Club for the label. That went on to eventually become an offer to issue The band’s single ‘New Slang’ which was to be followed up by their debut album, ‘Oh, Inverted World.’ After that, the group spent its time touring with hit singles like ‘Know Your Onion’ and ‘The Past and Pending’ meant the success carried on to 2002, making their debut album one of the best indie rock albums in the early 2000s.

Chutes Too Narrow

The release of the group’s second in the fall of 2003 was after the replacement of Langford by David Hernandez. The album release in indie music circles with high anticipations and it featured an exploration of new genres, intricate lyrics, levels of creation reliability and song structures. As a result, the album reached the Billboard Charts and its after that the popularity of the band increased drastically, with actor Zach Braff using numerous songs in Garden State movie in 2004.

Wincing the Night Away

The release of this album back in January 2008 saw the selling of over 100,000 copies during the first week. In addition to that, the album was at number two, breaking the record for the highest-charting Sub Pop’s album to date, earning a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album.

Port of Morrow

In 2008, the group’s contract with Sub Pop came to an end with the next album to be released through Mercer’s label, Aural Apothecary label. However, Mercer began working with producer Danger Mouse keeping him out of the game for a couple of years. Featured in this new album include songwriters Richard Swift and Jessica Dobson, Crystal Skulls’ Yuuki, drummer Joe Plummer and Modest Mouse. It managed to reach number three on Billboard charts.


In March 2017, they released this album on Aural Apothecary which h featured songs like ‘Dead Alive’ their first single in the record.