Photo of The Shins' James Mercer by Fred von Lohmann
James Mercer says the new album from The Shins is finished but is being held for an early 2017 release so the band's label can perfect its marketing strategy and likely score a performance slot at Coachella.
“The record is done—basically—and mixed. We’ve been making little tweaks, just because we have extra time,” Mercer said in a new interview with Portland community radio station KBOO 90.7.
Explaining he had hoped to release the record later this year, Mercer said the label—presumably still Columbia Records—decided to "postpone" the release "so they have more time to set things up." He added: “It looks like it will be coming out ... early next year, like January, hopefully.”
According to Mercer, the likelihood of playing at Coachella (which is in April) played a major factor in the label's decision, because "this whole new culture of festivals has taken over" and "Coachella is such a powerful influencer ... that we want to get as good a placement as we can in it," he said, noting how "apparently when you release your record has some sort of influence on that.”
As we previously reported, The Shins have been teasing "new music" would arrive this year since the end of 2015. And it's still possible new material might be released in the form of singles off the forthcoming album.
Their last album, Port of Morrow, was released over four years ago. And the lineup for Coachella will likely be announced in early January.