The Shins have returned with their brand new single “The Great Divide.” It was also accompanied by an Amazon Original reimagined version of the song titled “The Great Divide (Flipped).” The first official release from the band in over two and a half years, “The Great Divide” is available now via James Mercer’s own label Aural Apothecary and Monotone Records across all digital platforms.
“The Great Divide” was Co-written and produced by James Mercer, Jon Sortland and Yuuki Matthews, “The Great Divide” is, in Mercer’s words, “A blend of futurism and nostalgia. We used everything from vintage synthesizers to iPhones, from a sixties Ludwig kit to an 808.” In Mercer’s unmistakable style, the lyrics of the song tap into humanity’s current collective angst, against a backdrop of reassuring melodies that evoke both bracing freshness and comforting familiarity. “It’s an epic about longing and love in a broken world,” says Mercer. “I guess we wanted to try to provide a bit of warmth and sentiment in hard times.”
“When the Shins do a “flipped” version of a song,” Mercer explains, “the goal is always to re-approach the production aesthetic and show a different side to the piece. The idea is that a song properly written can be framed in many different contexts and still remain engaging. Yuuki Matthews, Jon Sortland and I sat down and talked about how we could change things up. The original idea was to treat it like a piano ballad but that soon gave way to Yuuki‘s moody post new wave treatment. I immediately loved it and so the direction was established. When we flip a song correctly you should have a hard time picking which version you like best!”
“When we learned that the Shins would have a new single this year, as a fan I immediately hoped they would also release a ‘flipped’ version of the song similar to The Worm’s Heart, the band’s full album re-imagining of their 2017 record, Heartworms,” said Stephen Brower with Artist Relations at Amazon Music. “The band loved the idea of creating a ‘flipped’ version of ‘The Great Divide.’ Working with the band to give fans two distinct takes on this great song is a great example of exactly what we’re trying to provide our customers with our Amazon Originals program.”
“The Great Divide” marks The Shins’ first new official release in over two years. The pair of singles follows in the footsteps of the band’s previous set of albums, 2017’s Heartworms and 2018’s The Worm’s Heart, which featured the same songs but recorded in a different tone or mood. Both the original and the “flipped” version of “The Great Divide” were produced by the band, mixed by Lars Stalfors (St Vincent, Soccer Mommy), and mastered by Bob Ludwig.
Amazon Music listeners can find The Shins’ reimagined version of “The Great Divide (Flipped)” on the Stay Indie playlist, providing a global stage for alternative fans to find new releases from established acts, or discover their next favorite band. Customers can also simply ask, “Alexa play the Amazon Original by The Shins” in the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android and on Alexa-enabled devices.
The track is available to stream and purchase only on Amazon Music, HERE.