The first single from the long-awaited, heavily-anticipated fourth Shins album, Port of Morrow, has been posted as a stream at The Shins website. What's the best part of "Simple Song?" It sounds like The Shins. Considering that band leader James Mercer dismissed the entire band after its last effort, this could have been a crap shoot. Not really. Mercer was gonna write a bunch of great new songs, which is what he does every time out. Alas, we get what we want.
What's nice about The Shins maintaining a constant sound - not that "Simple Song" sounds necessarily like anything on the band's previous three albums - is similar, to keep with the indie sound, Spoon. Is anybody breaking new ground? Well, Britt Daniel has a tendency to do a few new things, but for the most part what you get is a new set of songs that sounds different from the old ones but completely like Spoon. That's what this is. I, for one, am thankful for that.
Port of Morrow is out March 20. Preorder it from simplesong.theshins.com.