: The Shins: one of the most understated, underrated and important, actually-popular pop acts of our time. Over one million record sales worldwide; worshipped by almost anyone who comes into contact with their enriching, deeply emotive and complex, beautiful pop songs. People love this band – And now, with their third album, The Shins have mastered all we knew them to be before, and this time, thrown into the mix an even greater depth. Just when you thought the bounds had been set… The Shins go and reinvent it all again. To play music for a long time, you have to surprise the people that love you – while also surprising yourself. Enter Wincing the Night Away, The Shins’ third and best album to date. Recorded over time in Mercer’s basement studio, Phil Ek’s Seattle digs, and in Oregon City with veteran engineer Joe Chiccarelli (Beck, U2) – Wincing the Night Away is a whole new animal. It is the sound of a band growing up and out. Mercer’s infectious, indelible melodic style is still at the core, and unfaltering. But anything can happen around it – and in this case, it does. "Sea Legs" pairs a hip-hop (yes, hip-hop) beat with lush melodic lines and searing guitars. Elsewhere, the band toys with tweaked-out piano steeped in psychedelic strings ("Red Rabbit"); fractured synth samples ("Spilt Needles"); gauzy, arpeggiated keyboards cloaking thunderous anthems ("Sleeping Lessons"); and, taking cues from early Jesus and Mary Chain albums – sweeping, fuzz-toned epics (first single from the release, "Phantom Limb"). Finally, "Turn on Me," "Girl Sailor" and "Australia" are the lilting, exhilarating, rollicking, rock-solid pop songs we’ve all come to covet from The Shins. It arrives at the start of 2007 as a co-release between the classic, long-established Sub Pop and the UK’s most important new label / long-standing Shins obsessives, Transgressive Records, in a unique, unprecedented partnership. After 2 sold out shows at in summer 06, the band will return in March/April for a full UK tour.
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