All entries for Monday 26 March 2007

March 26, 2007

Single Shot: When I Goosestep

Spot the fifth Shin

It’s hard to write anything about The Shins without retreading the usual arguments and reasons for their popularity. But the fact of the matter is, if they hadn’t written the brilliant records they are noted for, they wouldn’t be fawned over and elevated to the height they are.

I can’t write much about Wincing The Night Away, apart from that it’s another showcase of gorgeous melodies with a different production aesthetic to the previous two. I’m sure I will listen it to death much like I have Chutes and World but I’ve not had the chance yet.

There’s always been one non-album track though that has stolen my heart (and when they played it live at Oxford last year I melted), and that is When I Goosestep. The studio version actually isn’t that special, coming from the early pre-Inverted World era, it’s too choked up with its basement production and low-level vocals to really shine. I’ve included it here because I have it, and if it would still be a great song if I hadn’t found this alternative recording.

The radio session I’m talking about here is stripped down, just James strumming guitar and Marty (I think) adding perfect understated keyboard accompaniment. The vocals are pushed up front and centre, where they should be, and elevate the song above it’s murky origins. James ends the chorus, ‘I’m so impressed that you hear, my inventions / And that it matters more than what you saw with your eyes.’ They may not be most exciting band to look at live, but their inventions definitely impressed me, and most prominently this one.

If anyone actually knows where the radio session is from that would be awesome, because I have no idea.
The Shins – When I Goosestep (Studio) MP3 Expired
The Shins – When I Goosestep (Radio session) MP3 Expired
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