The Shins are a well-oiled machine on “Name for You”

The Shins will probably always be remembered as that band Natalie Portman obsesses over in Garden State, the band that will “change your life.” While that claim is more than hyperbolic, it’s certainly hard to listen to the Shins now and not feel some relief. James Mercer has spent the past 20 years crafting some of the best indie-pop songs on the planet – first as Flake Music, then as the Shins – but 2013’s Port of Morrow felt as if it could have been the band’s swan song. It was, after all, the first album to feature Mercer as the band’s only original member, and the album played as someone who had mastered the studio. Yet “Name for You” is an energetic return, leaving the impression that Mercer might not ever be completely finished with this project. If they continue to churn out tracks like this, the Shins will always have a place in our headphones, in our lives.


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