Speaking to Portland radio station KBOO 90.7, Mercer said, “The record is done, basically, and mixed. We’ve been making little tweaks just because we have extra time.”
“It looks like it will be coming out next year. Early next year, like January, hopefully, 2017.”
The reason for this release date is that the label want time to promote the album and also think that a release date closer to US festival Coachella will mean The Shins will grab a higher position on the bill.
“Because Coachella is such a powerful influencer, it’s such a high profile festival that we want to get as good a placement as we can in it,” he said.
“And I guess apparently when you release your record has some sort of influence on that.”
He also spoke briefly about the direction of the LP which will be the band’s first release since 2012’s Port Of Morrow, a record that introduced an entirely new lineup after Mercer split with the original members of the band.
“I’m really excited about this record … I think we’ve got something that Shins fan will really love, and I think there’s some other things on there that are different enough,” he said.
“I made a concerted effort on certain songs to fit the palette, to use the palette that I’ve used historically for the band. And then on other songs, I really jumped off because I was having so much fun just learning some new tools that I had at my disposal like arpeggiators and things. So I was able to do some stuff that is a bit more synth oriented. But it’s only a couple songs, really, it’s moments on certain songs.”
He added that he believes his songwriting is the strongest it’s ever been on this album.
Of course, Mercer hasn’t just been relaxing in between albums. He released his second album with Danger Mouse as Broken Bells After The Disco in 2014 and has played a few shows with The Shins this year.
Listen: James Mercer Speaks With KBOO 90.7