Press Play: Shins

Listeners may be asking themselves who are the Shins. It’s valid inquiry considering that band has undergone major changes since their debut in 1996. The Albuquerque, New Mexico band centers around front man James Mercer. In fact, as of late Mercer is now the entire band, and he is rocking it well solo with some help from alternating musicians. Here are 5 reasons to press play on Shins


  1. It is self-described pop. It’s no mystery that pop music has taken on a bad rep in the music industry. A false narrative has been created that pop artists are talentless and uncreative. The Shins dispels this myth.
  2. James Mercer is past wanting to be a star. He makes music because he loves music.  In fact, Mercer is trying to transition into the position where he can make a living by creating music without having to be a star.
  3. He writes his values into his music. Mercer doesn’t condone the practice of people trying to force their beliefs on others. He makes it a point to be extremely critical of such practices in his music.
  4. He believes is in healthy self-criticism. The Shins have been making pop tunes for over a decade. Mercer believes that after a significant amount of time most pop artists are either washed up or too confident, so he uses his insecurities to keep improving his sound. He works hard to make sure he gets his sound right.
  5. Mercer is psychologically minded. The singer was given the honor of playing at Heath Ledgers memorial service, and he used it as a reason to make a shift in his life. After the service, Mercer decided to say yes to new experiences. This shift caused him to travel Chile and work on a documentary. It was also what ultimately ended the Shins as it had been formerly known. The internal changes caused external changes, and Mercer separated from his former bandmates to become a one-man band.

Press play on the Shins and you will not be disappointed.