A summit of slick, poignant grooves
Las Vegas, Nevada’s non-binary indie-rock artist, Shamir Bailey, released his second LP of 2020, Shamir, following a continuous flow of releasing music within these past three years. Debuting in 2015 with his first LP, Ratchet, Bailey’s musical origins began from childhood with the thanks of influence from his musician aunt and later forming the duo indie-pop band, Anorexia, with his friend Christina Thompson, and recorded his earliest tracks whilst in high school.
Whilst mainly a musician by career, Shamir has appeared on the American television show Dear White People and has been a recurring character on Netflix’s Tuca & Bertie, further increasing his fame in the musical and television media. Since the take-off of his career, Shamir has gathered an ever-increasing cult following with his twisted blend of R&B and pop-rock melodies.
Getting into the crux of Shamir, the LP begins intros with the heart-pounding percussions and smooth riveting punk guitar riffs of “On My Own,” offering an exhilarating, energetic kickoff to the LP, which transitions in “Paranoia” with the transitional 15-second track “Junglepussy Juice.” Keeping the same flow and energy as “On My Own,” “Paranoia” is spearheaded by the electrically charged guitar riffs composing a traditional punk melody to headbang.
Hitting a more lighthearted tone, “Running” strikes with fast punching percussions and lightly strummed guitars atop of Bailey’s empathetically amplified vocals, and transitions into “Other Side” with another 15-second transitional track, “River Is About To Die In This Garage.” “Other Side” offers a more acoustic rhythm, leaning more on a folky melody in its chorus, something similar to that of Bloc Party’s track “The Good News,” but with a more energetically cheerful melody.
Dialing the energy back a notch, “Pretty When I’m Sad” is gloomy with depressive lyrics and vocals alongside the softer guitar strums that elevate into hardened riffs over hard beating drums and transitions into the final part of Shamir with “There We Go.” With a quick video reel intro and low guitar strum, “Diet” crashes into an enthusiastically dynamic punk rock melody with an uplifting theme and message.
Switching to a more sympathetic tone and slow-struck chords beside Shamir’s straining heightened vocals that composes a somber melody that parallels with Shamir’s ending track “In this Hole,” a somber symphonic release of emotion utilized by screeching angelic tunes to wraps up this LP.
With each and every LP and EP Shamir produces, it earns him more following and credit as a source of indie-pop motivator and inspirator with his distinct blend of R&B and pop-rock that collages into something that is punk and uplifting.