Album stream: Port of Morrow

Last updated 18:19 13/03/2012
The Shins
SUPPLIED

NEW ALBUM: Indie rock band The Shins

Relevant offers

Music

Late singer Prince's pills included drug 50 times stronger than heroin The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards headed to NZ in November Frank Ocean released a new album - here's why that's such a big deal Supergroup Fly My Pretties to perform at Waiheke's Cable Bay Vineyard TLC announce New Zealand tour, saying 'better late than never' Simon Sweetman: Get Ready to Keep on Truckin' Founding guitarist of 3 Doors Down Matt Roberts dies Bianca back from London for Days Bay opera production Marlborough Civic Orchestra performs diverse mix in Stage to Screen 'NSync, Backstreet Boys creator Lou Pearlman dies in prison

Indie-rock favourites The Shins are back with a new album, a new lineup and a more upbeat sound that lead singer-songwriter James Mercer credits in part to his tranquil family life.

A week before the band's forth studio album Port of Morrow is set to hit the shelves in New Zealand, Stuff readers can listen to the entire record online.

It comes five years after The Shins' Grammy-nominated album Wincing the Night Away entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2.

Mercer admits he'd love to snag the top spot this time.

"I mean that will never go away," the 41-year-old Portland, Oregon, native said. "A number one record. You're up there with the biggest bands in history. It's just cool you know?"

Between albums, Mercer parted ways with the other original band members - drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall and bassist Dave Hernandez - and recruited a new team.

Port of Morrow was produced by Greg Kurstin, who also has worked with Kylie Minogue and Lily Allen. Although Crandall and Hernandez guest on Port of Morrow, they won't be touring with their former frontman, who defends the new lineup.

"It's not that these musicians are better - it's that when you work with somebody new you get a whole new perspective on your song," Mercer says. "I want to be free to work with a number of people. I just think the songs benefit from it, and that's the most important thing to me."

Mercer married former journalist Marisa Kula in Hawaii in 2006, after she interviewed him for pop music magazine, Spin. The pair have two young daughters, Sabine and Odette, who directly affected his writing on Port of Morrow.

The jubilant tone of lead single Simple Song, for instance, is miles away from some of the more downbeat offerings on Wincing the Night Away, a collection of songs written after the band shot to fame thanks partly to their 2001 song New Slang being featured in the movie Garden State.

As the band took off, Mercer found his "social situation was upended," providing good fuel for Wincing. With the new album, however, "There's a lot of just thinking about love," Mercer says.

"Having children is something that makes you think about the importance of love and relationships between humans and it also at the same time, the opposite of that - the wars and violence become very poignant and distressing, too."

Port of Morrow is out on March 19. You can listen to the album of The Shin's official site.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content