With simple beats and a breezy bass line, the quirky new pop cut from The Shins channels the band's vintage mix of wistful meditations and infectious melodies. "Dead Alive" is typically playful and tongue-in-cheek, but also slightly foreboding.
A new video for the song, directed by frontman James Mercer and Jon Sortland (keyboardist for Mercer's side project Broken Bells), opens with Mercer lounging on a couch while watching a horror film called I Gleek On Your Grave. He eventually drifts off to sleep and has a surreal dream that repeatedly plays with perspectives: Mercer at times looks like a giant stomping through a miniature city, while in other scenes he's tiny and vulnerable. Mercer calls the video "a Halloween gift while you wait for the album."
The Shins first teased the video on their website earlier this week with a highlight reel that included an ominous voiceover. "In a dead-end town, a car salesman is in great danger," the narrator says. "It's something he can't run from, something in his subconscious."
The upcoming full-length from The Shins is still untitled and is due out sometime next year. It's the band's first new album since 2012's Port Of Morrow.