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The Shins

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Bio

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
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Albums by
The Shins

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    10 songs

    On Air

    Port of Morrow

    11 songs

    On Air

    Wincing the Night Away

    10 songs

    On Air

    Chutes Too Narrow

    11 songs

    On Air

    Oh, Inverted World

    2 songs

    On Air

    No Way Down / Fall of '82 (Swift Sessions)

    2 songs

    On Air

    Phantom Limb

    1 song

    On Air

    Phantom Limb

    3 songs

    On Air

    So Says I

    2 songs

    On Air

    Simple Song

    1 song

    On Air

    New Slang

    4 songs

    On Air

    Know Your Onion

    11 songs

    On Air

    Port Of Morrow

    13 songs

    On Air

    Wincing the Night Away [Bonus Tracks]

    12 songs

    On Air

    Oh, Inverted World

    4 songs

    On Air

    Fighting in a Sack

    4 songs

    On Air

    Nature Bears a Vacuum


Top Songs by
The Shins

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   New Slang
  3.   Simple Song
  4.   Phantom Limb
  5.   Australia
  6.   Caring Is Creepy
  7.   So Says I
  8.   Kissing the Lipless
  9.   Sleeping Lessons
  10.   The Rifle's Spiral
  11.   Wonderful Christmastime
  12.   Bait and Switch
  13.   Sealegs
  14.   Young Pilgrim
  15.   Know Your Onion!
  16.   A Comet Appears
  17.   Pink Bullets
  18.   Red Rabbits
  19.   Turn on Me
  20.   Those to Come
  21.   Black Wave
  22.   September
  23.   Gone for Good
  24.   Saint Simon
  25.   It's Only Life
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
The Shins

    On Air

    Indie Sunset

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    Indie Chill

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    Sub Pop: 25

    On Air

    Indie Sunrise

    On Air

    66 Best Songs from Movies and TV

    On Air

    Indie

    On Air

    Alternative Chill

    On Air

    Music To Watch the Grass Grow

    On Air

    Indie Sleepover

    On Air

    Indie 500

    On Air

    Take A Hike

    On Air

    Hipster Holiday

    On Air

    New Holiday Hits

    On Air

    Sara Bareilles: I Am The DJ

    On Air

    Indie Coffee House

    On Air

    Metropolitan Mood

    On Air

    Adult Alternative

    On Air

    Eclectic Rock

    On Air

    Adult Chill

    On Air

    Radiohead: DNA

    On Air

    Indie Hits

    On Air

    Coffee House

    On Air

    Alternative Deep Dive

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    Post-Holiday Chill

See All Stations & Shows

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