Watch This Now: The Shins – “Simple Song”

“Remember walking a mile to your house, aglow in the dark…”

Welcome back, gang! Here’s one that I really should have gotten to when it dropped a couple of weeks ago – I could give you half a dozen excuses as to exactly why I hadn’t watched it up until this very moment, but you probably wouldn’t read or care. Let’s just cut to the chase: The Shins are back. It’s been five years, and James Mercer is the only original member that remains from the previous line-up that gave us Wincing the Night Away. But it’s still the Shins, goddammit. And this is one of their best videos to date.

A mix of The Royal Tenenbaums, cartoon violence and the sentiment of family unity, a greyed-up Mercer plays the deceased father to the new members of The Shins, all disgruntled adults watching his video will. Imagery of their childhood years is interspersed throughout the clip, occasionally melding together until a dynamic shift about 3 minutes in. It’s a delightfully original clip that plays on a different side of the song that I didn’t quite expect, a story that keeps you engaged from its opening moments to its strangely joyful finale. I can’t recommend this any higher. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

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