No Way Down (3:16)

Cover of Port of Morrow

From Port of Morrow

Shins frontman James Mercer commuted every week from his home city of Portland to producer Greg Kurstin’s Los Angeles studio to record Port of Morrow. “That sounds arduous but it wasn’t too bad,” Mercer told Q magazine. “I would nap, read. In fact one of the songs, ‘No Way Down,’ came about on a flight. I was reading this article about the American trade deficit and the lyrics just came out of me - which was cool as that song was causing a lot of trouble.”

Despite the song’s pointed pro-Occupy Wall Street protest sensibility, it actually predates the whole movement. “It’s funny because that song was written well before any of that stuff started to happen,” Mercer explained to Spinner. “I had read an article about how there’s been this long relationship between corporate business and labour and union power, and this article was about this sort of crazy move that happened where basically, the business world altered that relationship, they created legislation, lobbied it into existence that allowed them to go overseas, and do — what I consider, and I’m not super knowledgeable — but working with a country that has no respect for civil rights or worker rights or anything like that. You basically get to have slave labour without being a slave owner, and you basically kill the relationships you have with the labour force you have here. I don’t know. I don’t have a solution for it.

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