Shamir began his artistic debut into the spotlight with his first full-length LP, Ratchet, in 2015 — which broke out due to its irresistible electro-pop charm. Shamir, however, threw fans for a loop upon the release of his sophomore album, Hope, which dove into a brand new lo-fi, eclectic direction and a more personal, experimental vision.
The Las Vegas-born singer now released his third full-length album, Revelations, Nov. 3, to continue the journey of self-actualization he began in Hope.
Revelations is clearly guided by this momentum as Shamir explores his newfound lo-fi sound and headspace of creative freedom. After splitting with his major label just prior to Hope, XL Recordings — the production body that rose acts like Adele and Vampire Weekend seemingly overnight — and later his management team as well, Shamir has the space to explore a more DIY and experimental sound that is his own.
Following struggles with his mental health, and after nearly quitting his music career altogether, Shamir recorded Revelations in its entirety in only two weeks. For this reason, the album as a whole has a kind of stream-of-consciousness effect that feels authentic and raw.
Angel Olsen creates compilation album of her past works, takes listeners back in timeAngel Olsen released her compilation album, Phases, just one year after her groundbreaking third album, My Woman. The album consists Read…
In his latest release, Shamir uses high-energy piano, gritty guitars and delicate beats to successfully create an album that is anything but predictable. Shamir’s breakthrough, countertenor vocals are unforgettable and a definite focal point of the album — somehow both sophisticated, yet simultaneously whimsical .
The album starts with “Games,” with an almost juvenile, plodding piano loop. Shamir’s nearly effervescent-sounding voice cuts through the childlike repetition, turning the song on its head in an anthem about removing oneself from unhealthy relationship habits.
Shamir approaches personal subject matter delicately and subtly in Revelations, in a way that is sometimes even cheeky. As seen in tracks like “90’s Kids,” Shamir uses irony to build a unifying ‘90s kid’ collective identity based on enormous debt, the addiction epidemic and “paralyzing anxiety.”
With lyrics like, “We talk with vocal fry/We watch our futures die,” Shamir uses a playful melody to contrast pop culture trends with the serious problems our generation faces.
Shamir has an uncanny ability of creating songs that are deeply reflective, yet still effortlessly groovy. This capability is more than present throughout Revelations at large, through personal accounts of his mental health, but especially in fifth track, “Blooming.”
The song begins with an almost surf rock guitar riff and drum line reminiscent of indie rock bands like Girls. Through the upbeat nature of the instrumentals, one could almost miss the profound personal account hidden within.
Through lyrics such as “I left my baby/Now its gotta go” and “I’m too strong to just lay down and die/I wanna die, I wanna die,” Shamir shares an account of his recent struggles and emotional processing.
The closing track, “Straight Boy,” is perhaps the strongest, most cohesive song on the album. With instrumentals and vocals that flow together seamlessly, Shamir creates a playful yet insightful tune that addresses masculinity head on. In this track, Shamir tackles themes of pride, gender presentation and trust, in a song that is nearly addicting.
Revelations definitely deserves a listen (if not countless listens).