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Shamir wows with surprise album Be The Yee, Here Comes the Haw

Shamir | via shamir.bandcamp.com

Last week, Shamir dropped a new album and it’s as glittery, defiant, and explorational as anything he’s done before! The Las Vegas-born, Philly-based artist’s three previous albums include: Revelations, Room, and Resolution, all of which have received wide-spread acclaim for their inventive indie pop sound and refusal to be reigned in by genre boundaries. His latest album, Be the Yee, Here Comes the Haw, follows in this tradition.

While unconfirmed, its possible that Shamir is channeling the recent yeehaw agenda that made waves on Twitter in 2018 and whipped through the sound and aesthetics of  music industry greats like Solange, Beyonce, and Cardi B. For those who haven’t saddled up to this trend, the yeehaw agenda embraces the rich, and often invisible, history of black cowboys in the United States and pushes for defiant, powerful black musicians decked out in cowboy hats and stir-ups whose music is as adventurous as their tasseled fashion choices. While Shamir’s album only hits at yeehaw, its obvious placement in the title is enough to convince listeners that he has been reading up on this trend and implementing it in his work. But this kind of experimentation with genre isn’t new for Shamir. Maybe Shamir was the original yeehaw, hawing before we knew to yee. Continue reading →

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Watch Shamir pay tribute to his heroes in the new “Larry Clark” video

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

Shamir‘s new video for “Larry Clark” does not shy away from revealing the songwriter’s biggest influences, but rather embraces them full-on. The song, as its title suggests, pays tribute to filmmaker Larry Clark, who is known for his documentation of teen culture. But the Philly indie rocker gives a nod to another personal hero in the song’s video form, folk singer and civil rights activist Odetta, referencing her 1959 performance of “Waterboy” with startling accuracy in its simple, grainy footage. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Shamir at the First Unitarian Church, Work Drugs at Boot & Saddle, Leif Vollebekk at World Cafe Live, and many, many more

Shamir | photo by Rachel Del Sordo

Recent Philly-via-Vegas transplant Shamir closes out a busy year of touring with a hometown show at the Church tonight, following the release of their new album Revelations last month. Shamir’s vibrant and introspective pop songs touch on everything from queer identity to being a millennial, all with a blunt and witty honesty. Read The Key’s interview with Shamir here, watch the video for “90’s Kids” below and find more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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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 →