The Shins have revealed the track list for their third Sub Pop album, "Wincing the Night Away," due Jan. 23.
The Shins have revealed the track list for their third Sub Pop album, "Wincing the Night Away," due Jan. 23. The 11-track set will be preceded by the single "Phantom Limb," which will hit iTunes on Nov. 14 and physical retailers a week later. It will include the non-album track "Nothing At All" and an alternate version of "Spilt Needles."
The album begins with "Sleeping Lessons," as James Mercer's treated vocals float atop a synth loop before bursting into two-note guitar jam. From there, it finds the Shins experimenting with strings, sweet harmony vocals, a programmed drum beat and cut-up melodic figure ("Sea Legs") and even banjo ("Australia"), advancing the group beyond the simple indie pop of its first two Sub Pop sets.
Other highlights include "Turn on Me," which nearly nicks the melody of the girl-group classic "Then He Kissed Me" on its way toward a "So Says I"-style pop gem; "Black Wave," a ghostly slice of acoustic folk that never releases its tension; and the dark "Spilt Needles," where shrill noises nudge their way into the mix. The album ends with the drumless "A Comet Appears," with chirping birds audible in the background.
"I'm constantly reminded of how much better the project gets as new discoveries are made," Mercer told Billboard.com in August when asked about the benefits of spending so long working on the album. "That only happens through taking your time and being able to approach it with some new perspective."
The Shins aren't planning to tour until next year, but will reactivate for a Nov. 2 appearance at Sub Pop's showcase during the CMJ Music Marathon in New York.
Here is the track list for "Wincing the Night Away":
"Turn on Me"
"A Comet Appears"