Deleted Scenes :: "English as a Second Language"

The way to the top is a peculiar journey. First, you identify a style, then you perfect it. In the pursuit of this perfection, you become a parody. People glance at your work and think, caustically, "They would do something like that." You move from climber to monolith, a literal becoming of the object of your desire. If it can happen to Hemingway, it can happen to anyone. James Mercer of the Shins finally succumbed to this fate in 2012. Jettisoning his entire band and trading his anxieties (see: Wincing The Night Away) for sureness, Mercer released his slickest and more commercially accessible album yet, the quixotically titled, Port of Morrow. It was James Mercer playing what he thought James Mercer would play. It ended up next to the other impulse purchases of nuts and mints at your local Starbucks. You may own a copy. This type of pinnacle is, at the very least, lonely - being the band with the album at Starbucks - but, this type of inverted ascendancy leaves a trail. Deleted Scenes and their stunning next single, "English as a Second Language" are rooted firmly in the tradition of the strange-pop that Mercer made so popular in 2003, but they confront none of the same pratfalls as the Shins of 2012. "English as a Second Language" retains much of the pleasant weirdness and off-beat hooks of early Shins material, here featuring an unavoidable f-bomb and a final movement that kicks the doors off the arrangement, a move Mercer would never have chanced. It is a charming, fun and dark, a band on their way up, whatever the risks.

Listen :: Deleted Scenes - "English as a Second Language"

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