Artist: The Shins

Genre: Indie

Notable lyrics:

And if you’d took to me like a
Gull takes to the wind
Well, I’d a-jumped from my trees
And I’d a-danced like the kind of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

I’m looking in on the good life I might be doomed never to find
Without a trust or flaming fields am I too dumb to refine?
And if you’d ‘a took to me like, well
I’d a-danced like the queen of the eyesores
And the rest of our lives would have fared well

According to popular belief (ironically), if you claim to be a fan of Independent music but don’t associate with The Shins’ music, you’re not a fan of independent music. If you ever happen to come across an idiot who gives you this piece of advice, tell him that the beauty of indie music or any music, for that matter, is to be free from all the constraints already imposed, and that nobody can dictate your music taste for you. ( I might seem like a hypocrite because of my previous accusations against popular music, but I still stand by it because the facts are right.)

The Shins are an indie rock band formed in New Mexico, in 1996. Their twisted, complicated lyrics are what sets them apart from normal indie rock bands, essentially making them a somewhat proper indie band. If anything, The Shins started the fad of writing cryptic lyrics and using finely aged tunes.

The tune is sullen and smooth, free from any figurative bumps. In a way, it is almost nostalgic, even when you’re only listening to it for the first time. The back-up vocals and the muted guitar tune is so wonderfully attributed here that it manages to stand-out, all the while being in the background. Also, the song very intelligently uses layered vocals. Factually, most of the band’s songs have a similar and a distinct theme of making music. The music video is an intimate, less edited recording of the band members having fun while being their weird selves (what more can you expect from an indie band hehe). There are several shots with the lead-singer wearing headphones. The video could either be an effortless, home-made project or a puzzle. Seemingly, the song speaks about jumping out of one’s comfort-zone as a sacrifice made to a loved one and the video embodies it accurately, since the band members are also doing the same. Also, there are several sepia, black & white, and blue-black shots, amidst the colored ones. The change of colors talks about the inconsistencies in the singer’s life, and how everything isn’t as clear as a day.

When deciphered, the lyrics turn into something beautiful. Genius lyrics genius-ly decodes the entire song, but the here’s the gist of it: the singer tells us that he hasn’t been the most outgoing, sane, or socially comfortable person, but would’ve gone out of his way to make himself feel warm and happy. New Slang might actually be the act of developing a whole new mind-set, after much deliberation.

The Shins’ front-man James Mercer stated that when he wrote it “he wanted to get out of his hometown, job, relationship, and life,” something one can easily feel when listening, especially if they relate.

Basically, the song is about growing up, fitting in your skin and letting go of your inhibitions because you can. You only grow to become a joyful person when you realize that there’s nothing holding you back but yourself.