James Mercer has said he is working on a new album by The Shins.

The frontman, who is also one half of Broken Bells, revealed his plans in a new interview.

Speaking on Consequence‘s The Story Behind The Song podcast, Mercer said he already has 17 songs in the pipeline.


He said: “I’ve got a bunch of songs. I think it was 17 songs that are partially-recorded already. So, I’m always working on something. I’m always fiddling with the guitar and searching for those moments, you know? So, I’ve got a bunch of stuff. And I don’t know how long it’ll take, but I’ll start in September, and I’ll do another Shins record.”

The album will be the band’s sixth and their first since 2017’s ‘Heartworms’.

James Mercer of The Shins performs with Meegan Closner, Allison Closner, and Natalie Closner Schepman of Joseph during the ‘Oh, Inverted World – The 21st Birthday Tour’ at ACL Live on July 29, 2022 in Austin, Texas CREDIT: Rick Kern/Getty Images

Mercer also spoke about the band’s former bassist Neal Langford, who died earlier this summer, aged 50.

Langford was pronounced dead on July 21, after being found by police in Bath Creek near a private dock.

Mercer said: “After [2001 debut album] ‘Oh, Inverted World’, he had kind of spiralled into addiction stuff. And, um… I’m sorry, it’s, uh, but he had just really struggled, so that was there, you know? It’s just so recent. But it’s just… he struggled for a long time, and we always were trying to turn it around, but you know it just didn’t happen, I guess.”


Earlier this year, they announced that they would celebrate the 20th anniversary of their second album, ‘Chutes Too Narrow’, with a deluxe reissue of the record available from this Friday (October 20). You can pre-order it here now.