James Russell Mercer (born December 26, 1970) is an American guitarist and musician. He is the founder, vocalist, lead singer-songwriter, and sole remaining original member of the indie rock group The Shins. In 2009, Mercer and producer Danger Mouse formed the side project Broken Bells, for which they released a self-titled album in March 2010, followed by After the Disco in 2014. Mercer has also acted, appearing in Matt McCormick's feature film Some Days Are Better Than Others, which premiered in 2010.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mercer attended high school in both England and Germany; he lived in England from 1985 to 1990, as his family moved there because his father was in the United States Air Force.
In the early 1990s, Mercer belonged to a group called Blues Roof Dinner. In 1992, Mercer founded the band Flake Music (originally called Flake) with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford. Together, they produced the well-received album When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and toured with Modest Mouse and Califone...
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