"You gotta hear this one song. It'll change your life, I swear." Shortly after Natalie Portman spoke those words to co-star Zach Braff in Garden State
, a lot of people's lives were changed -- most notably, the members of the Shins
. From humble beginnings in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the quartet has spent the past eight years touring clubs and changing lives one at a time with its blend of jubilant, sunny pop and mellow, echo-chamber introspection. Imagine unearthing a time capsule from the late '60s (full of parts and pieces from Wilson, Davies, Blunstone and Bacharach), and you have a good idea where the Shins are coming from. Equally popular with high school students and mortgage payers, the band has recently gone from basements to ballrooms, scoring high-profile gigs (Garden State
, Gap and McDonald's commercials, an appearance on The Gilmore Girls
) and have become one of those rare acts with a universal appeal that's never watered down.