After announcing their fifth studio album, Heartworms, last week, The Shins performed a new song titled “The Fear” on a live broadcast of Chris Thile’s A Prairie Home Companion this weekend. “The Fear” sounds like a quintessential Shins song in the best way, featuring the kind of lilting, nostalgia-ridden melody that James Mercer has specialized in since Oh, Inverted World came out in 2001. The acoustic arrangement suits the tune nicely, and similar re-workings of other Shins songs from the broadcast, including “Name For You,” another recently-released Heartworms track, along with “Gone For Good” and “Saint Simon,” both off of Chutes Too Narrow, display the group’s music in a slightly new light. Thile also tells a quick story about his first time seeing The Shins and going to buy Chutes Too Narrow.
Listen to the “The Fear” below, or check out the whole Prairie Home Companion episode here. The Shins appear around 52:00 and 1:19:00. Heartworms is out March 10 and the band is currently scheduled to play at the Shovels & Rope-curated High Water Festival in South Carolina this April and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park on June 15.