The Shins is a dream-pop outfit hailing from Portland, and revolving largely around singer/songwriter James Mercer. Arising as a side project while Mercer lived in New Mexico, The Shins took on a life of its own after a number of singles such as "New Slang" were featured on films, and pulled the young indie rock group into the national spotlight.
For their third album, The Shins have pulled out all the stops. Chock full of memorable tunes, Wincing The Night Away is at once the band's best and most eclectic offering.
Port of Morrow may be the first new album from The Shins in nearly half a decade, but those five years were far from your typical hiatus. The new album may better serve as a reintroduction and/or reincarnation of frontman James Mercer, rather than a continuation of what we’ve come to know from the band itself. The primary reason is that since 2007’s Wincing the Night Away, the entire band with the exception of Mercer has been replaced. Port of Morrow is also the first album from The Shins to not be released on the Sub Pop label. Mercer is releasing the collection on his own label Aural Apothecary (distributed by Columbia). And perhaps most notably Mercer seems to have confidently taken the reigns with a distinct vision and sonic direction for the band.