Shins release fifth album

Catherine Mouer, Reporter

The Shins, known for their indie pop sound, released their fifth studio album, Heartworms. Leaving behind muddled vocals and mellowed tempos, the album is full-force anthemic with strong lead and prominent background vocals.

Modeling previous leads such as Sleeping Lessons or The Rifle’s Spiral, the album’s frontrunning single, Name for You, introduces the album strongly with an energetic tempo. While catchy and upbeat, the song falls flat on the unique scale. Leaning pop, the song varies from the Shins status quo.

Pulling away from the subtleties of Red Rabbits and Weird Divide, Fantasy Island and Half a Million are passionate and intra-perspective looks at life in escapism. Upbeat melodies contrast with sad lyrics to create a unique experience.

Mildenhall is the pinnacle of the album. With traditional Shins’ vibes and a soft tempo, the song captures the spirit of budding musical talent. Although mellow, it is the climax in the emotional rollercoaster of Heartworms. The lyrics are subtle but impressive, straying away from the high-pitched voice heard in many Shins songs.

The album’s title track, Heartworms, blends the classic Shins into the album’s pop sound. The song is catchy and reminiscent of the Beatles’ All You Need Is Love; this added layer creates depth within a seemingly simple song.

So Now What pulls the album back to modern times, showcasing lead singer James Mercer’s falsetto. The Fear returns to the traditional Shins’ mature style, completing the album.

Complex lyrics and unique vocals created depth throughout the album. Although mainstream, Heartworms showcases Mercer’s voice and songwriting.

The Shins will be playing in Dallas at House of Blues on Friday, November 10, 2017.