Indie kids, still your beating hearts. The Shins are back with their first song in two years and the promise of their first LP in four years. It’s fine. It’s fine. It’s all gonna be fine.
Though, I would totally understand full-bodied freakouts and unbridled joy. First single “Dead Alive” portends some good things for the indie pop luminaries. James Mercer’s vocals are still effects-laden but less so than stretches of Port Morrow, good news for anyone who kvetched about that album being too produced. There’s flitting organ that just adds to the vaguely spooky sounds (which are bolstered by the excellent video). And best of all, the central guitar figure is a strutting sort-of thing that honestly wouldn’t sound out of place in a glam rock song. “I took a walk in a fragile state,” Mercer intones near the song’s start. His mindstate is really the only fragile thing in this ebullient and potent pop tune.
The Shins debuted “Dead Alive” and “Rubber Balls” in London in September, so there’s good reason to expect a new Shins album in 2017. It’s fine. It’s fine. Don’t freak out.