Mike Bonanni, Staff Writer
It’s been a long time but it has finally arrived. The Shins are coming out with a new album, “Port of Morrow” on March 20. This announcement raises many questions, especially since there has been a complete band lineup change — that is, everyone except for frontman and main songwriter James Mercer.
In 2008, one year after releasing their third album “Wincing the Night Away,” the band’s contract with Sub Pop was completed, and Mercer decided to release the new album through his own record company Aural Apothecary. With a new label and a new album, the band itself went through a serious lineup change. The band is now made up of Mercer, Yuuki Matthews of Crystal Skulls on the bass, Jessica Dobson on guitar, singer/songwriter Richard Swift on keyboard and Joe Plummer of Modest Mouse on the drums. According to Mercer, the lineup was changed because he had “production ideas that required some other people,” but he doesn’t necessarily have anything against working with the old band. Ex-bandmates might see the situation differently, however, as ex-drummer Jesse Sandoval stated, “I was fired,” despite Mercer’s claim in interviews that they parted due to “aesthetic differences.”
On the brighter side, DJs at the Oneonta radio station WONY were able to put the first single “Simple Song” into their music rotation with positive reactions. “It’s had a large following at the station,” said Ashley Dean, the Music Director at WONY. The single exited the rotation last weekend, but Dean says the advance copy of the full album will be coming in soon.