MORE than a decade has passed since The Shins were the epitome of indie cool due to Garden State and three brilliant albums in Oh, Inverted World, Chutes Too Narrow and Wincing The Night Away. These days The Shins are merely James Mercer’s solo project. All other members have long departed.
Heartworms is what you expect from The Shins. Nostalgic instrumentation, lush melodies and Mercer’s Mike Love-style vocals. Mercer dabbles with electronic sounds on Cherry Hearts and Half a Million and Americana on Midenhall, but he mostly sticks to his perfected pop-indie formula. The ode to his daughters and modern feminism, Name For You, is a touching highlight. There’s no New Slang or Australia, but Mercer remains a master of melody.