By Willow Grier
To be honest, when I first listened to this album it sort of irritated me. Coming from the camp that listened to The Shins for emotional reprieve when going through sweetly powerful and sad times, this album often feels too happy. Perhaps it was my own foolhardy intent of listening while lying morosely in a dark bedroom. The sounds just clashed.
Upon second listen, walking in a bright, sunny and warm day, everything clicked into place. The title track of the album, “Heartworms,” manages to capture that impetuously squirmy feeling of being unable to shake a crush, a love, a feeling. There are moments that feel overtly Beatles-y (the complex mysticism and elation of “Fantasy Island”), moments that feel like a humble southern country throwback (“Mildenhall”), and moments that do touch upon that old Shins vibe of being somber and saccharine at the same time (“The Fear,” “So Now What”). With a perfectly balanced production, this album slowly scratched and crawled its way into my heart, like its own little Heartworm. It’s burrowed its way in and is there to stay.Columbia, Heartworms, The Shins