Shamir’s Revelations showcases vibrant, multi-faceted personality

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Shamir | photo by Jason MacDonald | courtesy of the artist

Shamir’s newest album Revelations will be available everywhere on November 3rd via Father/Daughter Records, but NPR Music’s got the plug right here and now for you; you can stream the album in full here.

Having already heard the gems, “90s Kids” and “Straight Boy,” we’re now treated to seven new tracks from the Philly dweller. And as the two early releases had hinted, the rest of Revelations effectively strips away the avant-garde art-pop costume from 2014’s Ratchet; instead baring a closer resemblance to Shamir’s independent Bandcamp drop of last year’s Hope EP.

This doesn’t mean that the new album loses Shamir’s vibrant personality though. Each track still dances about — just in a way that feels more intimate and free. Like we’re moving from the dazzling spectacle of a choreographed disco-trope number, to taking in a less glitzy, but more affecting, solo performance piece.

Shamir wastes no time in addressing this aesthetic transformation, as he immediately confronts critics with a blunt and deadly force in opening track, “Games.” As discussed in a recent interview with New York Times, Shamir divulged that his desire to distance himself from the sounds of Ratchet that didn’t go over well with his label, XL Recordings, who definitively dropped him due to “not meeting creative expectations.”

Crying out on the track, “I don’t blame you, and I don’t shame you, but I can’t continue to play these games,” Shamir’s twisted and haunted vocals could just as easily fit as an antagonist’s revelatory solo ballad in a musical — one that expands the audience’s perception of the character to unveil a more human, multi-faceted being.

Which is exactly what we hear in the songs to follow: a complicated, interesting, honest, non-linear person. After the enlightening “eff you” of the first track, Shamir doesn’t let himself be constricted to this one event of his life. Instead, he designates Revelations as a space to roam where he pleases in this introspective universe of his; all the while making it heartwarmingly clear that you’re very welcome to tag along for the journey.

Shamir will be headlining First Unitarian Church on December 16th with support from Partner. Find info on the show over at the XPN Concert Calendar, and watch the video for “Straight Boy” below.

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