Songs You May Have Missed #453


The Shins: “It’s Only Life” (2012)

Like A.C. Newman of the New Pornographers, James Mercer’s brand of indie pop has a way of tapping into timeless elements of pop and rock yet simultaneously sounding fresh and of the moment. The band’s fourth album, which features Mercer’s songwriting, vocals and, in large part, instrumentation, is awash with lush melody and fresh turn of phrase–another characteristic Mercer and Newman share.

These two guys are among the most appealing songwriters in the genre, and I’ve got the feeling the originality of their work will be recognized for many years to come.

“It’s Only Life” in particular seems a towering achievement to me. I just can’t believe how many appealing turns of melody Mercer crams into this tune.

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