New Music – Dead Alive / The Shins

Just in time for Halloween and four years on since¬†Port Of Morrow,¬†the Shins are back with a spooky twist on their Beach-Boys-in-the-21st-century style. James Mercer’s voice is still coated in a sort of heavenly mist that doesn’t sound ‘clean’, but it’s not all fuzzy either. The instrumentation jogs along at a blissful bounce, reminding me of Animal Collective, but if they decided to give up roughly half of their synths and decided to make up the rest of their sound and replace it with tapping on wood. If the instrumentation is happy (in a weird sort of druggy way), then the lyrics are the opposite. ‘So tonight, dance and cry’ and ‘Wash the blood and the guts to the ocean’ sings James Mercer, then there’s weird snatches of screaming and muttering in the introduction too. It’s a good sound for the Shins, slightly tweaked, and still slightly weird.