Shamir is Shamir and remains Shamir through and through, no matter what the universe puts him through. You may know the singularly named artist (like Madonna or Cher) from his 2015 debut hit record Ratchet, beloved by NPR listeners and club kids alike. After quickly rising to underground fame with his Northtown EP in 2014, the DIY popstar made a sonic splash with Ratchet’s lead single “On The Regular,” a poppy banger and commercial success. But how to follow all that up? Shamir, who came from the dusty dunes of Las Vegas, to Brooklyn’s Silent Barn, to the Philly indie scene (and all over the world in between), wanted to go back to what had inspired him from the beginning. Outsider music, country & punk. Raw & vulnerable tunes, stripped down to their emotional core. And what do you do if XL drops you? If you’re Shamir, you put out an album you recorded yourself all in one weekend, whilst questioning the decision to quit music. The record was called Hope and Shamir self-released it via SoundCloud during the spring of 2017, with no promotion or label support. Regardless & naturally, it was a critical hit.
Recorded May 2017 in his hometown following the release of Hope, Revelations is full of what the titled implies. The new album is stacked with stunning exhalations of emotion, as Shamir continues making music for misfits and those of us who feel so emo sometimes that we get annoyed at how we’re a cliché, but see the beauty in it anyway. Revelations is much more minimal in instrumentation & production compared to Ratchet, but is even more full in sound and feeling. In some other timeline, there’s an unknown John Hughes film entirely set to Revelations. It’s the warmth in this apocalyptic neon and pastel future we find ourselves in. It’s the breath we take when we look up from our phones. They’re Shamir’s Revelations, and you should listen up.
500 = Yellow cassette