Song of the Week – Name For You, The Shins


The first time I ever heard (or heard of) The Shins was on the soundtrack for Garden State. The 2004 rom-com’s soundtrack included 2 songs by The Shins but the one that made an immediate impact on me was the memorable “New Slang.” I had a little catching up to do.

By the time their third album — Wincing the Night Away – was released in 2007, I was a solid fan.

This year the Portland, OR based outfit (basically James Mercer and some sidemen) has released its 5th album, Heartworms, its first in 5 years. And it is pretty damned good.

Today’s SotW is the album’s opener, “Name For You.”

In an age where “grabbing pussy” has been normalized by our commander-in-chief and celebrities from Bill Cosby to Bill O’Reilly are accused of serial sexual assaults, it’s about time that we have a song (written by a man) that addresses women’s empowerment. In a recent Mojo interview, Mercer said of the song he was inspired to write because he has three daughters:

“I don’t want women in general to have to put up with frat-boy bullshit. I think I’m more sensitive to the issues because of my family life, but douche-baggery has always pissed me off. I think everyone should own their own sexuality and not be reliant on the society around them for some sort of approval.”

The serious nature of the song is offset by the catchy melody (a Mercer trademark) over a reggae-ish rhythm and effervescent guitars and keyboards.

Enjoy… until next week.

2 thoughts on “Song of the Week – Name For You, The Shins

  1. I was turned onto the Shins several years before I saw Garden State, but they did not really nail it for me until i saw the movie, which is a lovely little independent film and the kind I wish were made more often. So easy to fall in love with Natalie Portman, huh?

    And, by Phantom Limb, from Wincing the Night Away, I was sold.

    Great pick again, Tom.

    And, I always thought this was the best “femnist” song ever, written after a friend of Toad the Wet Sprocket was molested.

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