• album art: Jacob Escobedo

Port of Morrow, album number quatro from the shinniest band in town, comes out in March as a split release between Columbia Records and front Shinman James Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label. I like the title and the album art, but the real way to tell an album is not by its cover, but by the names of its songs. Shall we?
1. The Rifle's Spiral
2. Simple Song
3. It's Only Life
4. No Way Down
5. September
6. Bait and Switch
7. Fall of '82
8. For A Fool
9. 40 Mark Strasse
10. Port of Morrow
I now know EXACTLY what this album sounds like. The press release says that the album was recorded in LA and Portland with Mercer performing most of the tracks. Production was handled by the Bird and the Bee's Greg Kurstin.

The Shins—whose live ranks include songwriter/producer extraordinaire Richard Swift—will tour early next year as well. No word if Swift actually performed on the album (my guess would be no). The rest of the Shins' live band includes bassist Yuuki Matthews (Crystal Skulls), guitarist Jessica Dobson (Deep Sea Diver), and drummer Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse/Mister Heavenly).