The Shins Return to ‘Saturday Night Live’ With ‘Port of Morrow’ Tunes
The Shins hit the stage of ‘Saturday Night Live’ on, well … Saturday night (March 10), touting a new lineup and a couple new songs from their forthcoming fourth studio album, ‘Port of Morrow,’ which drops March 20. This was the Shins’ second appearance on ‘SNL’ — the band had previously graced the stage of Studio 8H back in 2007 to perform then-new single ‘Phantom Limb’ and dust off their classic breakthrough hit, ‘New Slang.’
The Shins lineup has seen a complete overhaul since the release of 2007′s ‘Wincing the Night Away,’ with frontman James Mercer’s backing band now featuring guitarist Jessica Dobson, bassist Yuuki Matthews, keyboardist Richard Swift and former Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer. Mercer even boasted a duo of female backup singers for the ‘SNL’ gig, bringing the grand total of performers onstage to a jam band-esque seven.
The expansive group’s full sound shone through on opening number ‘Simple Song,’ a mid-tempo tune that lives up to its name in terms of its straight-forward pop structure, but with such layered and orchestrated instrumentation sounded absolutely sublime. ‘Simple Song’ is the first single off ‘Port of Morrow,’ and rightly so — much like the Shins themselves, it’s catchy, carefully crafted and endearingly unique all at once.
Their second number, ‘It’s Only Life,’ was equally restrained and no less gorgeous, utilizing the backup singers to create lush vocal harmonies that elevated the bouncy chorus. And check out Dobson’s all-to-brief solo at the halfway point — there’s not much to it, but we definitely look forward to her shredding a little bit at some point on ‘Morrow.’ Even the Shins like to let loose once in a while.
Watch the Shins Perform ‘Simple Song’ on SNL
Watch the Shins Perform ‘It’s Only Life’ on SNL