The Shins

Initially formed as a side project for James Mercer away from his main band Flake Music, The Shins toured with Modest Mouse in the late 1990s before signing to legendary alternative label Sub Pop in 2000. Based around Mercer's well-crafted songs, the delicate, jangly indie pop of early singles New Slang and Know Your Onion! showed a love of British acts like The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen. Debut album Oh, Inverted World (2001) and its follow-up Chutes Too Narrow (2003) were hits with critics and the band steadily built a cult following of indie obscurists; but it was the use of their music in the Hollywood movie Garden State (2004) that really introduced them to a mainstream audience. The band's third album Wincing the Night Away (2007) built on their growing reputation, shooting straight to Number 2 in the US charts (the highest ever chart position for a Sub Pop act) and earning a nomination for the Grammy Awards' Best Alternative Album. The band left the label and went on hiatus in 2010 and Mercer formed experimental, art-rock act Broken Bells with acclaimed producer Danger Mouse of Gnarls Barkley fame.

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