The Shins is an American indie rock band formed in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1996. The band is the project of singer-songwriter James Mercer, who has served as the band's sole constant member throughout numerous line-up changes. The band's current line-up consists of Mercer, alongside Yuuki Matthews (bass, keyboards), Mark Watrous (guitar, keyboards, lap steel), Patti King (keyboards), and Jon Sortland (drums). They are based in Portland, Oregon.
The band was formed by Mercer as a side project to Flake Music, who were active from 1992 to 1999. Flake Music released two 7-inch singles and a full-length album, When You Land Here It's Time to Return, on Omnibus Records and were touring with Modest Mouse when the Shins became signed to Sub Pop Records. The Shins' first two records, Oh, Inverted World (2001) and Chutes Too Narrow (2003), performed well commercially and received critical acclaim. The single "New Slang" brought the band to mainstream attention when it was featured in the 2004 film Garden State. Consequently, the band's third album, Wincing the Night Away (2007), was a major success for the group, peaking at number two on the Billboard 200 and earning a Grammy Award nomination.
Following this, the Shins signed to Columbia Records and Mercer parted ways with the entire original lineup, deeming it "an aesthetic decision". Following a near five-year hiatus, Port of Morrow, the band's fourth studio album, was released in 2012. Their fifth album, Heartworms, was released in March 2017.
|Previous members||Richard Swift Casey Foubert|
|Members||James Mercer Yuuki Matthews Mark Watrous Jon Sortland Patti King|
|Years of activity||1996–present|