The Shins Perform the Infectious ‘Heartworms’ (and more!)

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All Photos by Larry Hirshowitz (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The Shins’ frontman James Mercer entered our studio with a top notch crew earlier this week for the first full band performances behind the album “Heartworms”. Along with the new material, they threw in a bunch of favorites from their album “Chutes Too Narrow” (“Young Pilgrims”, “Saint Simon”, “Mine’s Not a High Horse”).

Why go back to 2003? Well, it’s pretty simple. James was battling with some vocal issues, so he had to sing an octave lower.

That said, I liked hearing a little gruffness in his voice! And their performance of “The Fear” — complete with strings — was one of my single favorite moments in our studio so far this year. Simply stunning.

Everyone was in great spirits as they prepared for the release of “Heartworms“, produced entirely by James himself, which is out today. While some songs are fictional character sketches, many of them are an ode to parenthood and growing older.

Find the full session here.