Callum Burroughs reviews the debut release from Los Angeles electronic indie popper Shamir.
“flamboyant and brilliant electro stompers”
XL Recordings, 19 May 2015
[dropcap size=small]L[/dropcap]os Angeles native Shamir’s debut album, Ratchet, is a marvel. Strafing between his countertenor and well-produced indie-pop glory, Shamir Bailey has produced a work of upbeat and original fascination. It is the beauty of this album’s sound that it remains somewhat unclassifiable, with funk, indie and electro influences mingling alongside Shamir’s remarkably androgynous voice.
Following the waves made by the single ‘On the Regular’, Ratchet was justifiably hyped, and the outcome is nothing short of excellent with clever ballads and electro-funk groovers. The album’s opening salvo ‘Vegas’ is track complete with all the RnB and dance influences that permeate the rest of the LP, leading into pumping sounds from single ‘Call It Off’. It is perhaps this album’s defining quality that none of the emotional thrust is lost in the deeply infectious melodies on offer. It’s kitchy, it’s moody and it’s prancy at times but always done tastefully, combining proven dance rhythms with Shamir’s aforementioned lyrical lilt.
Bouncing around like a baby faced Prince, Shamir’s accomplished opener sounds liberating and confident, appearing to be an artist likely to go from strength to strength with XL. If you enjoy the album it’s definitely worth checking out his previous EP ‘Northtown’ which features the excellent track ‘If it wasn’t True’.
Flamboyant and brilliant, expect to hear some of his electro stompers over the summer in some exuberant and unexpected locale.