Song of the Day #1,326: ‘Saint Simon’ – The Shins

The Shins’ ‘Saint Simon’ popped up on my random playlist the other day and stopped me in my tracks. I’ve heard the song plenty of times but I’d somehow never realized exactly how freaking great it is.

Of the new albums being released early this year, I’m as excited about The Shins’ next record as just about anything else. James Mercer, the band’s songwriter and lead vocalist, has such a unique style that I know I’m in for something wonderful.

Mercer is pretty much the sole creative force behind The Shins. For the new album, he has assembled an entirely new group of backing musicians. It’s not the first time he’s done that — the “band” is made up of whatever players he feels can deliver the sound he’s going for at the moment. It’s not an unusual pattern for a solo artist. What’s strange is that the project is identified as a band.

I won’t complain if the results are this good. Lyrically and musically, I find this song just sublime.

After all
These implements
And texts designed by intellects
Still vexed to find
Evidently there’s still so much that hides
And though
The saints dub us divine
In ancient fading lines
Their sentiment is just as hard to
Pluck from the vine

I’ll try hard not to pretend
Allow myself no mock defense
As I step into the night

Since I don’t have the time nor mind
To figure out the nursery rhymes
That helped us out in making sense of our lives
The cruel, uneventful state
of apathy releases me
I value them but I won’t cry every time one’s wiped out

I’ll try hard not to give in
Batten down to fare the wind
Rid my head of this pretense
Allow myself no mock defense
As I step into the night

Mercy’s eyes are blue
And when she places them
In front of you
Nothing holds a
Roman candle to
The solemn warmth you feel inside

There’s no measuring of it as nothing else is love

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,326: ‘Saint Simon’ – The Shins

  1. Dana says:

    It is odd that he calls himself a band despite wholly interchangeable and replaceable band mates–but I agree that the music is quite good, so what the hell?

  2. peg says:

    Beautiful lyrics; reads like a poem. I’ll listen to the music when my computer doesn’t stop every other second 😦

  3. Amy says:

    Adam Young does the same thing with Owl City, although he takes it one step further… as he plays all the instruments. Guess some solo artists just prefer band names 🙂
    I’ll always associate The Shins with Garden City, an association that serves both band and film.

  4. Amy says:

    and by Garden City, I meant, of course, Garden State 🙂

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