The Shins are an American indie rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, formed in 1996. The band consists of James Mercer (vocals, guitar), Joe Plummer (drums), Jessica Dobson (guitar), Yuuki Matthews (bass) and Richard Swift (keyboards). The band is currently based in Portland, Oregon. The Shins began in 1997 in Albuquerque, New Mexico as a side project for singer-songwriter James Mercer, whose primary band was Flake Music. Mercer had formed Flake Music in 1992 with Neal Langford on guitar, Phil Higgs and then Marty Crandall on bass, and Jesse Sandoval on drums. During the next five years Flake Music released several singles, a full-length album, and began touring largely due to the help of other bands like Modest Mouse. In 1997, Mercer began writing what would eventually become The Shins' first record. Flake Music came to an end around this time leaving Mercer with an opportunity to record, 'Nature Bears A Vacuum' a 7' EP released by Omnibus Records.
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