The Shins is an independent American rock band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was formed in 1997> by former members of Flake Music following its dissolution. It is composed of James Russell Mercer (vocals, guitar), Dave Hernandez (bass), Martin Crandall (keyboards), Jesse Sandoval (drums) and Eric Janabelle who joined the band on their tour for Wincing the Night Away. Their music is generally described as independent rock, surfing on several musical genres such as pop (in the tradition of the Beach Boys), country and folk music. The Shins was formed in 1996 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by former members of Flake Music. Flake Music (formerly known as Flake) consisted of members and guitarist/singer James Mercer, drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Martin Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford>. In 1992, the band started recording a few singles and an album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, which is well received. The band tours with Modest Mouse and Califone>. Mercer forms the Shins and recruits Sandoval on drums. On his interest in music, Mercer explains that " ...it took me out of my shell and gave me a social life>. " They start playing in duo with Cibo Matto and the American Analog Set>. The band adds Dave Hernandez of the Scared of Chaka and Ron Skrasek to the band, but both musicians leave the band before the end of the decade to stay with Scared of Chaka>. In 1999, Flake Music separated and Neal Langford joined the Shins. The first two singles of the Shins, Nature Bears A Vacuum and When I Goose-Step, are released by the Omnibus label. In 1999, during a tour with Modest Mouse, their songs appeared on Napster and quickly became very downloaded. A Sub Pop label representative notices this success and offers them a contract. The Shins thus becomes one of the first bands (perhaps even the first band) to sign with a record company thanks to the Internet and Peer to Peer (op. cit.). The band's first album, Oh, Inverted World, was released in June 2001, in vinyl format and then in compact disc format the following month. Most of the album is recorded for Sub Pop at Mercer>>>>>. The album is well received by the specialized press, and solidifies the band's reputation in the independent rock scene> but also in the Albuquerque music scene with the glorious " pop glorious " from Oh, Inverted World>. The album helps to restore Sub Pop Records' dominant strength in the independent community, but the label did not break through in the years before. The band spends the rest of the year playing with bands like Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. New Slang] helps Oh, Inverted World to reach 100,000 copies sold in two years, remarkable for an independent label; Sub Pop hoped to sell 10,000. The song is used in an advertisement for McDonald's for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games>> which may not appeal to the band's fans and the independent scene>>>.