James Mercer: New Shins Record Next Year

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The Shins (James Mercer at far left) / Photo by Brian Tamborello
WRITTEN BY
Jenn Pelly

Since 2008, Shins frontman James Mercer has been hard at work on Broken Bells, his experimental pop collabo with Danger Mouse -- but the indie rocker says that he will reunite with his original band after the project, with a new record potentially emerging in 2011.

In an interview with MTV, Mercer clarified statements he made last week, when he told told NME that the Shins "had started to feel heavy." In the past two years, the band replaced bassist/keyboardist Marty Crandell and drummer Jesse Sandoval with the Fruit Bats' Ron Lewis and Modest Mouse's Joe Plummer as a result of what Mercer called "an aesthetic decision."

"There's some truth to [the NME quote], but I don't want it to be exaggerated," Mercer told MTV. "[It's] not that I don't enjoy that more private process of coming up with the Shins material. But right now I'm really enjoying [Broken Bells]." Early this year, Mercer said the new Shins material would be more up-tempo, "not so melancholy," and even "aggressive in a new wave way."

And while Mercer and Danger Mouse are already working on a second Broken Bells album, the singer-guitarist is intent on returning to his original band once this side project has finished its run, with a new Shins album arriving as soon as next year.

In the three years since the Shins topped the charts with their third album, 2007's Grammy-nominated Wincing the Night Away, their activity level has been low. The band contributed a cover of Tenement Halls' super catchy "Plenty Is Never Enough" to Merge Records' Score! 20 Years of Merge Records compilation in April 2009, and embarked on a short, 12-date U.S. tour in May.

Should Mercer head back to the Shins ASAP, or keep up his fresh new project with Danger Mouse? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

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