Mildenhall

Album: Heartworms (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • This autobiographical country-tinged cut finds Shins vocalist James Mercer sharing his story of moving to England from Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1985. The relocation came about as a result of his air force father being transferred to RAF Lakenheath in Mildenhall, Suffolk to oversee the UK's armament cache, which included a number of nuclear weapons.

    "It's fascinating to me," the singer reflected to Billboard magazine. "What a strange position to be in - during the Cold War, no less."
  • The Mercer family's move coincided with a golden age for British alternative rock and the Shins frontman sings here of falling in love with music as a teen.

    A kid in class passed me a tape
    A band called the Jesus and Mary Chain


    "After I moved, I didn't have any interaction with kids - inside high school and outside of it - for a year. That's how shy I was," Mercer explained. "And then there was this moment where a kid passes me a tape, and it was the Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy. I think everybody has that moment where somebody turns them on to the cool, hip s--t. That's what I wanted to tap into."

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