Shins and Chutes

The Shins announce details of new album and tour dates

Chutes Too Narrow – release date: 15th March 2004

The Shins are James Mercer, Marty Crandall, Jesse Sandoval and Dave Hernandez.

Formed in 1997 in Albuquerque, The Shins' debut album 'Oh, Inverted World' (2001) has become one of the US indie scene's success stories in recent years, selling around 150,000 copies during its lifetime. Achieving plaudits and very real sales through word-of-mouth, stunning, simple videos and constant touring, The Shins have soon become one of the most critically revered bands in the US of recent times, “somehow managing to capture lightning in a bottle”. GQ rated 'Oh, Inverted World' on of the 40 best albums of the 21st Century and in the UK, The Shins' debut effort was voted into Mojo's top 20 albums of the year 2001, despite no real domestic release: “This quartet from Albuquerque, New Mexico captured our hearts this summer with their pristine pop perfection.”

'Oh, Inverted World' featured two successful US singles ('Know Your Onion' and 'New Slang') and in 2002 James Mercer was asked to pen the music for a Gap advertising campaign featuring Hollywood mugs Ashton Kutcher and Scarlett Johansen. For such unassuming types, The Shins are, one way or another, doing a damn fine job of insinuating themselves into North American pop culture, although a little charm, as displayed in their brilliantly funny promo-only EPK, has definitely gone a long way.

Already, The Shins' second album 'Chutes Too Narrow' (released in the US in October 2003 on Sub Pop) looks set to build on these famous foundations: it spent the winter 2003 holding off all comers from the top spot on the CMJ chart and has been rewarded with bumper sales already as well as scheduled appearances on Letterman and Conan O'Brien in early '04. 'Chutes Too Narrow' – twelve sublime twists of melody and melancholy, often surreal lyric – was mostly recorded in Mercer's basement, and was produced by the band with Phil Ek (Pretty Girls Make Graves, Built To Spill).

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