The Shins frontman, James Mercer, is last man standing. With the ousting of his onstage sidekick, Marty Crandall, Mercer accepts the responsibility of carrying on the band’s indie rock legacy. At the height of their early 00’s popularity, The Shins were everywhere: from car commercials to major motion pictures – their sound was fresh for the new millennium and perfectly tailored for a generation that embraced, with enthusiasm, the iPod and the rise of digital music downloading. Ten years after the release of their most commercially successful album, “Wincing The Night Away,” The Shins still sound pretty much the same. On Heartworms, their latest LP, Mercer’s buoyant intonation is just as delightful as it was a decade ago. The main difference, then, between “Heartworms” and past albums, is content. This time around, Mercer is the only major player, and the album’s lyrics now reflect that of a solo act. In “Name For You,” Mercer sings to his young daughters, while on “Mildenhall,” he recounts his first musical transcendency. Mercer has always been seen as The Captain of The Shins, but now, he’s learning to steer the ship all on his own. Besides more tailored, personalized lyrics on this latest endeavour, you’d never recognize the absence of his former bandmates. Mercer stays the course. Featured Music Friday is brought to you by Blackfire Research.