The way the song is recorded in the studio isn’t the entirety of the song itself, but just one version of it. For example, a lot of tracks take on a new life when performed live, or when covered by another artist. That seems to be the philosophy behind the latest project from The Shins: The Worm’s Heart is a new album coming out on January 19 that contains alternate “flipped” versions of songs from the band’s 2017 record Heartworms.
Today, the group has shared the flipped version of “Dead Alive,” which was originally a mid-tempo indie rocker right in line with The Shins’ aesthetic. Now, it’s been turned into a piano- and string-led track that’s much more emotional-sounding. James Mercer says of the new rendition:
“The original version of ‘Dead Alive’ was right in the wheel house with tracks we had done before. It has the same triplet galloping rhythm as a number of Shins songs. So to ‘flip’ it, we broke it down into more romantic elements like that dark piano and Patti’s violin, which I love. That’s me in the beginning knocking my beer off the console while mic-ing her! Oops! Listen for Casey’s sick fuzzed out solo.”
Listen to “Dead Alive (Flipped)” above, and for comparison’s sake, check out the original version below. You can also find The Worm’s Heart tracklist below.