Album Review // Shamir // Homo Anxietatem
Shamir is a gift, and has been from day one. For someone who has released both songs and albums at a startling pace (this is his ninth LP since 2015), the quality of the content has always been consistently impressive — this prolificacy despite a serious bout with bipolar disorder that at one point nearly caused him to quit his career. Shamir Bailey, the Las Vegas native known better by the mononym, is a brilliant, queer countertenor vocalist and musician who has always been difficult to define. On this album, he showcases a penchant for '90s indie pop, perfectly fitting for his new label, Kill Rock Stars. The catchy opening track "Oversized Sweater" starts the album off at an interesting place, a shimmering, distorted breakup anthem. Then there's "Our Song" and its Guided By Voices-esque openness serving as another highpoint. While "Calloused" and "Crime" have a more morose, modern bent, the unbridled fun of "The Beginning" could be Third Eye Blind from an alternate dimension. Then you have the dark dance hit "Obsession" and the aptly titled Delta sounds of "The Devil Said the Blues is All I'll Know" to close the album out. Shamir is reconsidering pop music in new ways, and I can't wait to see what he does next.