Shamir has today released his new video for the track titled ‘Our Song’, from the upcoming album ‘Homo Anxietatem‘, dropping August 28th.
A vivid dose of uniqueness can be a wonderful thing, and Shamir delivers that level of originality with lush splendor and bravado. Find an artist as original as Shamir that is also as accessible. I dare you. Give Up? You already found such an artist.
The video, while simple, is to the point and filled with personality. But the song is the real star here. That chugging rhythm and chimey bright and spacious guitars support Shamir’s signature vocals with confidence. this is indie music back to it’s original roots. Beautiful.
By shifting workflow, gaze, and attitude, Shamir has created a sincerely familiar yet instantly outstanding album in Homo Anxietatem. Meanwhile, never has this stunning music sounded so effortless. That could owe to the Philadelphia-based artist’s unshakeable work ethic. For a 28 year-old, Shamir’s amassed a huge amount of savvy, as well as a devoted following – appearing in series like Dear White People and Tuca & Bertie, publishing the book But I’m a Painter, creating his own record label Accidental Popstar Records, playing shows with Le Tigre, Courtney Barnet, Troye Sivan, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, collaborating with Rina Sawayama, Mac DeMarco and many more.
Shamir’s art is a synthesis of the full spectrum of human emotion; sensual, furious, yearning, joyful and yet tethered together by a very distinct style (similarly to the greats such as Miss Nina Simone, Prince and Taylor Swift). He’s always had a way of turning the mundane into the magical. On this new album, lines that could feel tossed off in the hands of a more careless songwriter become precious morsels in the hands of Shamir – he never takes himself too seriously. Yet nothing is taken for granted; there are moments of pure joy and plenty of surprises throughout.
However, as always, there’s sadness, darkness, and – in this case – an actual confrontation with the devil. “Not as sweet as I might seem,” Shamir confesses on “Crime.” “No interest in searching for meaning,” Shamir ends the appropriately titled “Calloused.” This is what happens when one of the most prolific songwriters of a generation calms down a bit: the search for meaning becomes meaningless. What happens when someone who lives a chronically unstable life finds solid ground?
And that meeting with the devil? Perhaps the biggest surprise is album closer, “The Devil Said the Blues is All I Know.” The title should give an idea of its sound: a single take of slide guitar and voice. As the song fades out, a celebratory hoot can be heard. Maybe it’s a celebration for a great take, or maybe simply that another album is finished. Given Shamir’s breakneck working speed, it can be easy to overlook something in his oeuvre. Among a catalog of standouts, this one shines as its own.
Featured image by Matthew James-Wilson.