What are you listening to this week? 

I’ve yet to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, Phantom Thread, but over our holiday break, I found myself obsessed with a short musical excerpt from the film’s score that Nonesuch Records published ahead of tomorrow’s full digital release. As with every Anderson film since There Will Be Blood, the soundtrack was…

The Shins announce most extensive world tour in 4 years

The Shins have announced a summer and fall tour behind Heartworms, their first full-length studio album since 2012. We said that at its best, the album turns “existential dread into a string-swept dreamscape,” and that—ever true to himself—James Mercer’s “subject matter [is] frequently much heavier than the…

The Shins, Laura Marling, Greg Graffin, and more in this week’s music reviews

Heartworms, The Shins’ first record since 2012’s Port Of Morrow, kicks off with the bouncy, sun-kissed jaunt “Name For You”—an ode to female empowerment inspired by James Mercer’s three daughters. While it’s a decidedly summery affair, it deals with serious ideas, admonishing those with antiquated notions who might…

The Shins’ James Mercer on drawing inspiration from skateboarding

On March 10 The Shins will release Heartworms, the band’s fifth album and first in five years. It’s a record that sees James Mercer getting back to his roots and finding ways to take past inspirations and make them feel new again. The A.V. Club talked to Mercer about one of his childhood passions: skateboarding. Here,…

Here’s what’s coming to record stores and streaming services in March

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to review sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out…

From St. Vincent’s latest to Drake’s playlist: Our most anticipated albums of 2017

While it’d be nice if music releases fit nicely into a year-by-year narrative, the end of 2016 proved that wasn’t the case. Even after we published our feature highlighting some of the best music of 2016, there was still more to be released for the year. In those last couple weeks before 2017 was rung in, we saw new…

“The Rock Doc” writes a prescription for love on the new Fruit Bats single

Earlier this year, singer-songwriter Eric D. Johnson dusted off the Fruit Bats moniker for Absolute Loser, the first set of new music released under that name since 2011’s Tripper. Evidently, he was energized by reviving the project, because he’s already releasing a follow-up: Easy Sound Recording Co. will release The…

The Shins release a new Halloween song, “Dead Alive”

We’re still waiting—and will be for a while more, it seems—for the fifth studio album from indie darlings The Shins. But frontman James Mercer isn’t leaving his fans out in the cold this October; following up on a teaser posted earlier this week, the band has released a brand new song and music video, just in time for…

Thanks to Coachella, you’ll have to wait until 2017 for a new Shins album

Music festivals are hot and crowded and dirty, and the people there smell weird. It costs upwards of $10 for a bottle of water, the sound is sub-optimal, and there’s always some shirtless guy walking around with something stupid painted on his chest. There are countless reasons to dislike outdoor music festivals, most…

One last 360-degree tour of New York’s influential Other Music record store

When it opened in New York’s artsy East Village 21 years ago, the Other Music record store established itself as a hub for new music, a place where people could find challenging, exciting sounds that were created by artists operating outside of the pop mainstream. Discriminating customers flocked to the place, as did…

The Shins to change some more lives as part of the End Of The Road festival

It’s been a while since The Shins released new music—and even longer since they helped change Zach Braff’s life—but the indie rockers are gearing up for new music and live performances. According to Pitchfork, the band is working on a follow-up to 2012’s Port Of Morrow, an album that could just as well have served as…

Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell, and more to cover Beatles songs in new kids’ show

As reported by Deadline, Netflix has just announced a new animated kids’ show that grown-ups might be a lot more interested in than they’d care to admit. The show is called Beat Bugs, and it’s about a group of insects who are “charming, funny, adventurous,” and “have a knack for getting themselves into mischief and…