Rhythm & Views 

The Shins

It's 7 a.m. Monday morning, and I am driving down Broadway Boulevard. The snow from the night before has not yet melted, and the sun is just beginning to rise behind the clouds. The opening notes of Wincing the Night Away hum around the interior of my frozen car, and I can't think of a more perfect sound for the landscape outside. It's minute two of "Sleeping Lessons," and acoustic guitars have slipped in. At 2:26, the electric guitars and drums kick in, and it's definitely The Shins, but seen from a different, better angle.

Wincing the Night Away has more synthesizers than The Shins have used before, and the songs are more about creating a mood than two-minute pop gems. What was brilliant about Chutes Too Narrow and Oh, Inverted World was the band's reinterpretation of the verse-chorus-verse formula: The Shins put together seamless blends of parts, creating melodies and hooks that were so catchy, they became ingrained on a cellular level. On Wincing the Night Away, this effect might not be immediate, but when it happens, it's euphoric.

Hints of The Cure and '60s and '70s pop mix with those bright, sustained guitar chords and straining, blended vocals. "A Comet Appears" ends the record with mournful horns and pedal steel, and "Sea Legs" even has flutes accenting the near-funk bass line. "Turn on Me" and "Black Wave" could be at home on previous Shins records, but then the synthesizer on "Split Needles" gives The Shins what every great band welcomes with open minds: yet another way to make their songs breathe.

More by Annie Holub


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

The Weekly List: 29 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

The Weekly List: 23 Things To Do In Tucson This Week

Laughing Stock: Laff’s and Tears, Plus New Mics

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Their Way

    The Trashcan Sinatras have traveled each and every highway for more than three decades
    • May 10, 2018
  • XOXO...

    What's coming down the music pipeline in the next week.
    • May 10, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation