"This will be the first Shins release in a while," Mercer said in a video interview for Levi's.
The denim company courted a dozen musical acts and asked them to re-create the songs that helped inspire their own careers. Nas kicked off the series with his cover of the Slick Rick classic "Hey Young World," and Levi's has already posted covers by She & Him, Bomba Estereo and Dirty Projectors.
The Shins re-crafted "Goodbye Girl," by British new-wave group Squeeze, who had a string of U.K. hits, including "Up the Junction," "Tempted" and "Hourglass." Hard-core Shins fans may know that Mercer spent his high school years living in England, where he was exposed to Squeeze's music. When Mercer moved back with his family to the States, he recalled being glad to see that Squeeze were enjoying some attention on this side of the pond.
"I remember 'Cool for Cats,' that was a song that was on MTV three times a day," Mercer told MTV News from his recording studio.
And while Mercer's earliest memories of the band coincide with his formative years in England, his ongoing fascination with Squeeze had more to do with their penchant for changing their sound, always growing sonically. " 'Tempted' was a major hit for them, and it's incredible progress [from 'Cool for Cats'] and it's only in the course of two years," Mercer said.
"This song just really grabbed me," Mercer went on to explain of why they chose the 1978 track "Goodbye Girl." "All the things that grab you about any good song: the melody and the chords and the way that they interact, and the rhythm of the song."
You can check out the song for yourself. The Shins' cover of Squeeze's "Goodbye Girl" is available for free download at the Levi's Pioneer Sessions website.
What do you think of the Shins' Squeeze cover? Let us know in the comments below!