The Shins

The Shins
(c) Annie Beedy The Shins

Singer-songwriter James Mercer's accomplished US alt.popsters - who formed in 1996 as his side project, then assumed very much a life of their own - return for the first time since 2007, with 'Port of Morrow' (Columbia), their fourth album and first in over four years. Lead single, 'Simple Song' is typically irresistible, a lustrous and sweet, singalong charmer, but adds brilliantly unexpected notes of widdly, prog-ish guitar that tilt the blueprint nicely. 'The American Crowded House', some have suggested, bu there's no shame in that.

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