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Shamir Shamone: Upping the pureness with Philly’s Shamir

Shamir
Shamir | photo by Jason MacDonald | courtesy of the artist

There are a hundred reasons to write about Shamir Bailey – known professionally as simply Shamir – beyond a recent relocation to Philadelphia. With a piercing contralto/tenor falsetto, Shamir demonstrates a musical curiosity ranging from 90s house, soul, country (all on 2015’s Rachet album), and now, lo-fi rock and fizzy pop (2017’s Hope and its follow-up, Revelations).

The-Vegas-to-NYC-to-Philly transplant has a singular voice, making any song identifiably theirs – be it silly (“90’s Kid”) or heartbreaking (“Like a Bird”) or angrily disgusted (“I Fucking Hate You”) in its lyricism. With Revelations out this Friday, November 3rd on Father / Daughter Records, and a First Unitarian Church gig on the horizon, I got Shamir on the phone to talk about their process, influences and aspirations.   Continue reading →

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Shamir’s Revelations showcases vibrant, multi-faceted personality

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. Continue reading →

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Shamir confronts appropriation of queer identity in the softly anthemic ballad, “Straight Boy”

Shamir | photo by Jason MacDonald | courtesy of artist

Shamir is not one for subtlety. Whether it be through his avant garde disco-pop introduction via 2015’s Ratchet, or the more subdued lo-fi tracks from his upcoming album, Revelations, Shamir remains as refreshingly blunt and expressive as ever.

While flashing a sarcastic, cheeky grin toward older generations in the floaty, dial-up nostalgia of “90’s Kids,” Shamir’s latest track, “Straight Boy,” is even more direct as it strips away any traces of an ironic veneer. Continue reading →

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SoFAR Philly and Amnesty International support “Give a Home” with Esperanza Spalding, Shamir and Maitland

On September 20th, Amnesty International partnered with the living room concert series SoFAR Sounds to hold a series of benefits across the world. 1,000 artists were booked to play 300 shows in 60 countries to raise money and awareness for the world’s refugees through Amnesty’s Give a Home project.

While SoFAR typically keeps their lineups under wraps, for “A Global Day of Secret Gigs,” the artists were released early, and it featured big names like Ed Sheeran in Washington, D.C. ,Hozier in Dublin, and BØRNS in Los Angeles.

On SoFAR Philly’s bill was Esperanza Spalding, Shamir and Maitland. The show was located in an ornate office building just off of Rittenhouse Square. Walking up three flights of carpeted stairs felt like walking through an antique mansion — SoFAR always chooses the coolest spots. Everyone got close and cozy as the sun set over the park and the bands began to set up. Continue reading →

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Shamir becomes every meme imaginable in video for the millennial battle-cry, “90’s Kids”

Shamir | photo by Jason MacDonald | courtesy of artist

I’m a millennial / 90’s kid. Before I was decorating my AIM profile to perfection with stupid song lyrics, I was playing CD-rom Detective Barbie games on my family’s huge dial-up computer.

Fast forward to now, where there’s memes and irony and debt and avocado toast. It’s a heckin weird world, and Shamir somehow manages to mash up this strange generation of feelings into his song and video for the new, aptly titled “90’s Kids.” Continue reading →

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Esperanza Spalding, Shamir, and Good Old War lined up for SoFAR Philly’s Amnesty International fundraiser

Esperanza Spalding | photo by Holly Andres | via facebook.com/EsperanzaSpalding

Remember that super secret, super cool Sofar Sounds Philly show in partnership with Amnesty International we let you know about a few weeks back? You know, the one with the winning recipe of: a heaping of community, a splash of mystery, and a million cups of good tunes. Well, friends, the lineup has been revealed, and it’s pretty dang tasty. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Chelsea Sue Allen at Boot and Saddle, Shamir at First Unitarian Church, Son Little at Johnny Brenda’s and more

Photo by John Galla via facebook.com
Photo by John Galla via facebook.com

Earlier this week, Chelsea Sue Allen released her latest record, Lonely Ages, and we streamed it here. On the record, Allen croons lovely narratives accompanied by haunting instrumentation. Catch Chelsea Sue Allen tonight at Boot and Saddle; get ticket and show info at the XPN Concert Calendar, and listen to Lonely Ages after the jump. Continue reading →

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Catching up with Good Old War’s Dan Schwartz new sounds, second chances and making honest music

Photo Courtesy of Dylan Eddinger Photography

The original three members of Philly’s Good Old War are finally, finally, back together again, and I was lucky enough to catch the end of their reunion tour at World Cafe Live back in August. The band is set to play a SoFar Sounds Amnesty International Benefit on September 20th, with new music out in the world as well — “Part of Me” was released on September 1st. Guitarist Dan Schwartz — also known as Danny Black for his solo work — was kind enough to give me some insight into what went into the making of their newest EP. With the rejoining of drummer Tim Arnold, the band is back and really better than they’ve ever been before. Continue reading →

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Vagabon blasts off with Infinite Worlds release show at PhilaMOCA

Vagabon | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

“You’re a big fish now, though!” someone shouted from sidestage, just before Vagabon launched into “The Embers,” the final song of a stunning record release show at PhilaMOCA on Saturday night. Vagabon — the stage name of one Laetitia Tamko — was riding high on the release of Infinite Worlds, out the 24th on Father/Daughter Records. “The Embers,” a song exploring a more solipsistic landscape, repeats in its refrain that “I’m just a small fish.” While inside, Tamko may feel like a small fish in a big pond, the acclaimed release of Infinite Worlds and it’s two sold-out release shows (Friday night she appeared in Brooklyn with Mal Devisa and Jelani Sai) are ripples indicating that something big is emerging from beneath the surface. Continue reading →