“Heartworms” and “The Worm’s Heart”

Illustrator: Ruby Guthrie

“Heartworms” struck me as an album I would love as soon as I started listening to it. The music is dynamic, captivating, and fits so well with the vibe of the band.

Released on March 10, 2017, “Heartworms” is The Shins’ fifth album and their first studio album released in five years. There’s an overlaying chill and moody vibe across the entire album which is a trademark of the Shins’ music, yet each song has its own unique aspect.

The first song on the album, “Name For You,” is upbeat with simple instrumental music and a dynamic range of vocals overlaying a consistent, ebullient background beat. The tracks “Mildenhall” and “Fantasy Island” have classic beginnings, simple tunes, and meaningful lyrics focusing on the past. “Cherry Hearts,” however, has a faster beat with a lively and compelling sound, compared to the other songs on the album, to convey the feelings of unreciprocated love.

After “Heartworms,” The Shins released “The Worm’s Heart” in January of this year, and is essentially is a flipped version of their original. The premise is the fast songs are slow, the loud songs are played quieter, and vice-versa. Even the order of the songs are the complete opposite. The album is entirely reimagined and is a unique listening experience in and of itself. I enjoyed the original version of the album more than its flipped counterpart, but other than having the same lyrics, they are completely different listening experiences. When viewed separately from each other, they are both great albums.