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The shins

Neal Langford, former bassist of The Shins, has died

28 July 2023, 16:02 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

The Shins bandleader James Mercer broke the news of Langford’s death in an Instagram post last night.

"Just want to let you guys know one of the best friends I’ve ever had has passed," Mercer's statement began. "He was in several bands with me including the Shins. A very important figure in my life you could say. I mean this is the guy who talked me into getting over my shyness and up on the stage. He put me in front of the microphone! He was the catholic school kid who showed me how to sneak into the back of the old El Rey theatre and get a “free” beer. An invaluable person!"

The Shins released their debut EP When You Land Here in 1999, and that EP, and shortly after, released their single “New Slang” as part of the Sub Pop Singles Series in 2001. The band signed to Sub Pop and moved to Portland. Later that year, they released Oh, Inverted World!, their debut album.

By the time The Shins recorded their 2003 sophomore album Chutes Too Narrow, Neal Langford was out of the band, and original bassist Dave Hernandez – who was part of the original line-up under the name Flake Music – rejoined.

"He would pick me up in his stepdad’s El Camino and we’d listen to his latest mixtape. With our swerve on. Driving when we probably shouldn’t have been. Where we shouldn’t have been. We were like that. A long time ago," Mercer's statement continued.

"There’s too much to the story but I loved him. And I owe him a lot. Neal Langford you were always loved and you always will be."

No cause of death has been revealed.

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