Track of the Day: 'Young Pilgrims'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Says one fan of The Shins:

I really love this song because I completely understand the concept of a “winter slide,” it happens to me every year, most poignantly last year. I can really relate to “this side of me that wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just fly the whole mess into the sea.” Sometimes I am scared by a dangerous, harmful part of myself, too.

Says another:

According to James Mercer, this song is about being optimistic and not overanalyzing. Look at this interview: “The album title is taken from the fourth track, ‘Young Pilgrims’, James explains that the underlying theme of this record is about, ‘how your own thought processes can needlessly get you down when you should just learn techniques to fucking get over it.’”

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