The Shins - 'Heartworms'

8/10

Earlier this year, we created a list of all the bands we were eagerly anticipating new music from. The Shins were obviously part of that group, and everything we have heard so far from this new album has been worth the wait. But after hearing all of 'Heartworms' in its entirety, can we truly appreciate the new adventurous direction the band has been developing over their five-year silence.

While their loyal fanbase will remember them for their whimsical beauty, many may be taken aback by the pop dynamic of this new release. Less focus on their folk influences, and more towards a vibrant explosion of colour and excitement, 'Heartworms' certainly makes a statement from the start. With a high-energy disposition and more emphasis on the production, this long-awaited release gives a whole new angle to The Shins' sound, something that they really needed for this comeback.

It is an extremely refreshing record from a band that has been constantly one of the most creative and interesting outfits on the planet all these years. And while the memory of them may no longer fit with their current direction, it is certainly progress in my eyes.

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