Easily the indie rocker’s favorite band in the early 2000s, The Shins set the bar for alternative independent rock music. Upbeat instrumentals, steady bass lines, and a unique set of vocals from the impressive James Mercer pushed this band to the top of the indie ladder of hierarchy. Zach Braff all but subtly introduced The Shins to the independent film audience when he praised their music through Natalie Portman’s quirky character in Garden State. The Shins’s popularity continues to climb upward with each unpredictably eclectic album. This year’s highly anticipated Port of Morrow shows some maturity in The Shin’s sound. The album is multidimensional, not only in instrument, pulling tips and tech-advances from Mercer’s recent side project Broken Bells, but in guest appearances from new and old Shins musicians. Singer/songwriter Nik Freitas and Modest Mouse’s Joe Plummer (to name a few) assisted Mercer in pulling together Port of Morrow, whose makeup never drifts far from the classic Shins sound and feels much more filling than anything prior. It transcends through various decades, never wavering in-between genres. And yet it remains totally unclassifiable. It’s indie, sure, but it’s incomparable to any other artist on the Hipster Top 20. The Shins care not of what is “in” in the world of music, but more on creating something that caters to their interests. They’re a band that is faithful to sound and theme of their own right. And much like Portman in Garden State, they’re a band that dances to the beat of their own bass drum.
The Shins plays on the Sasquatch stage at 8:10 pm on Saturday, May 26th.