Indie-rock forefathers The Shins are back with their fifth studio album, Heartworms, after nearly five years without a proper follow-up to their 2012 commercial hit, Port of Morrow, which debuted at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 and earned a Grammy bid for Best Alternative Album.
Despite the commercial success, frontman James Mercer opted to keep the creative process internal this time around. While songwriting and lyrics have always been handled by Mercer, Heartworms’ production duties (with the exception of “So Now What” produced by Richard Swift) will be handled entirely by Mercer, making it the first since their debut album Oh, Inverted World and providing a dose of nostalgia to longtime fans while still keeping the band’s sound modern and fresh.
The album also promises to flex Mercer’s lyrical diversity. Tracks like “Fantasy Island” and “Rubber Ballz” paint short, fictional sketches for the listener while tracks like “Middenhall” provides an autobiographical glimpse into Mercer’s mind.
The album’s second single “Name For You,” is a bubbly, infections pop cut of fatherhood and family as Mercer writes a modern-day anthem for female empowerment inspired by his three daughters.
The album will be released March 10th through Aural Apothecary/Columbia Records, but preorders are available now. In addition to the new album, the band will also be headlining the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. Peep the tracklist below and check out the music video for the first single, “Dead Alive,” here.
- Name For You
2. Painting a Hole
3. Cherry Hearts
4. Fantasy Island
6. Rubber Ballz
7. Half a Million
8. Dead Alive
10. So Now What
11. The Fear