The Shins provided fans with a Halloween treat with the arrival of the band's new video for "Dead Alive." James Mercer and company released the track – the band's first original song in over two years – to hold fans over before the expected 2017 release of the Shins' new LP, the follow-up to 2012's Port of Morrow.
In the video, Mercer descends into a fever dream that jettisons him into a world of b-horror movie tropes like reanimated skeletons, 50-foot humans and cheesy special effects. Musically, "Dead Alive" resurrects the sound of the Shins' pre-Port of Morrow work, with Mercer's vocals and the song's gloomy hook reminiscent of 2001's Oh, Inverted World.
Mercer has long insinuated that the band's fifth studio LP would arrive as early as January 2017. During a string of September tour dates – the band's first live dates in nearly three years – the Shins debuted a few tracks, including "Dead Alive" and possible new album track "Rubber Balls."
Between Port of Morrow and "Dead Alive," Mercer released another Broken Bells LP with Danger Mouse, covered the Beatles for a cartoon and unveiled the Shins' "So What Now" for Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here.