Indie nation made a collective sad face when the Shins went on hiatus after 2007's Wincing the Night Away. That departure added a whole new layer of poignancy to the songs that had already made James Mercer's Portland-based crew one of the '00s' most beloved bands, even before Natalie Portman raved about them in Garden State. But those frowns turned upside down when Mercer assembled a completely new cast of bandmates and returned earlier this year with Port of Morrow (Aural Apothecary/Columbia), a new batch of quintessentially wistful songs that blow through like a soft, melancholy breeze.
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