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Heartworms: An album review

The Shins’ newest album stays true to Mercer’s sound and style

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The Shins fifth studio album, “Heartworms”, is the band’s first album in five years. After undergoing some member changes, Mercer and crew put together something that Mercer says is closer to the Shin’s original sound than their previous work, “Port of Morrow.”

The album itself feels a bit dysfunctional, ranging from psychedelic techno in “Painting a Hole” to sort of plodding, acoustic folk in “Mildenhall.” The latter being a tale of how Mercer went from being the son of a military man, to a full-fledged indie rocker. Each song on the album feels as if it is its own adventure. Every line is a story, some deeper than others, but all requiring the listener to have an attentive ear, or risk missing out on what the song is trying to tell you. Mercer has a lot of influence on this album, and rightly so. After starting over with an all new band lineup, he is the only part of the original band’s spirit and identity left. The final track “The Fear” talks about Mercer’s struggle with anxiety.

Despite all the changes the band has gone though in recent history, The Shins still manage to stay true to themselves, never straying too far from the sound that makes them distinct: the blending of classic pop sounds and progressive indie vibes that make The Shins’ music hard to get out of your head.

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Heartworms: An album review