One of the reasons I absolutely love the Shins is because they’re a very modern band with some very modern lyrics, but with the classy experimental variety that is very reminiscent of bands of yesteryear such as the Beatles. Rolling Stone magazine credits James Mercer and his crew for “bringing the pop traditions of 1960’s pop bands to a new generation of music fans”, and its not hard to see why. Songs such as “New Slang” and “Simple Song” are genius and some of the best contributions to the Indie/Alternative genre in the past decade or so. “Australia” is no exception, and is this weeks catch.
Listeners are greeted with a very German “time to put the earphones on!”, and the rest of the song continues with an exceptionally catchy number employing some clever ukulele plucks and even cleverer lyrical buildup. Interpretations may vary, but it seems like Mercer’s commenting on the unhappy life of a women, who seems to be held back by society and religion.
“The selfless fool who hoped he’d save us all”, probably hinting to Jesus. Mercer continues to comment, “You know, he’s holding you down, with the tips of his fingers just the same,” which could possibly again refer to the kind of religious oppression holding her back from the life she wants. “Android conundrum” perhaps referring to the facade she’s putting up which differs from whats on the inside. As you can tell, this is a wonderful track with some beautiful lyrics.
As the song comes to a close, Mercer offers her assistance, “So give me your hand, and let’s jump out the window,” as his voice trails off into the subtle pulsing tune accompanied by some very ‘Beatle-esque’ “la la la la laaa..”.
Listen to it here!