Single Review – The Shins – Dead Alive

The Shins rose to prominence during the Indie reflex following The Strokes first two albums; they were much involved in the wider Indie culture after being featured in Zach Braff’s film Garden State in 2004. James Mercer’s 60’s Pop Influences distinguished the group as a laid back band with good lyrical content as opposed to the more frantic style of Kings of Leon or the clean cut sound of The Killers. Their music has since only received gentle nudges in direction that build on Mercer’s vocals and narration as Mercer made bigger musical leaps with his Dangermouse collaboration, Broken Bells. The Shins are back with a new album I Gleek On Your Grave for early next year. It will have been five years since their last album by that point. 

Their new single ‘Dead Alive’ shows signs of another gentle nudge in direction with old, whirring keyboards and gentle acoustic chords stringing the song’s rhythm together. Mercer’s casual vocal reverberates across the simple instrumentation as the song slips into phases of early psychedelics of The Beatles or The Zombies. It is a enjoyable track and is warm with familiarity in spite of the odd shift. It would be nice for Mercer to blow this sound out of the water, but with The Shins he’s quite happy to cruise along nicely and I for one, can’t find a problem with that. 

Owen Riddle


  1. mikefleckcreator says:

    So nice to see the Shins back in action. I love the vibe of this track. Great writeup! Do you feature your writing on any other sites at all?

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