SHAMIR – ” Other Side “

Posted: October 6, 2020 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , ,
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Shamir called this his “most commercial-sounding” album since his 2015 debut, but whatever mainstream leanings it might have did not compromise how vibrant or creative he could get. The 25-year-old singer-songwriter performs synth-pop, Gun Club country punk, and shoegaze all with the same confidence and charisma, in a voice that can transform any anxious misgivings into reassurance. “I prefer to be alone, but you can join if you like/I’ll stay strong for you ’cause I don’t want to be seen when I cry,” he sings on “Running,” speaking as much to his audience as he is to himself.

Shamir embraces a balance between composure and restless dissatisfaction throughout his self-titled album. He vividly captures a Gen Z-specific angst and stewing inner conflict: “Smoke all the weed so I can cover my anxiety,” he confesses on “Paranoia.” Indeed, some of the best moments on the album explore the contradictions of the self and the paradoxical relationship between thoughts and behaviors. Stylistically, Shamir is a hodgepodge of the different approaches the artist has employed in the past, synthesized into a mostly satisfying pop-rock sound. Still, Shamir’s penchant for melody and introspection have proved adaptable to any genre that he fancies at any given moment, characterizing even his most lo-fi work with a pleading humanity. No matter how roomy or tight the mix is, or whether he’s caught in a moment of self-doubt or soaring confidence, he brings a sweet buoyancy to his music that carries Shamir, while also peeking into the torment of being inside his own head. 

There’s a lot to love leading up to next week’s eponymous effort from Shamir, but nothing quite brings it back home from the indie-pop polymath than when he winks at Nashville in the way he does whenever he puts a butterfly spin on Stetsons and pedal steel. “Other Side” is probably the most fully realized version of Shamir’s country crossover dalliances since kicking up some dust in 2018′s “Room” single. 

Here, he resolves the brooding cow-punk darkness inspired by a true unsolved mystery with an idealized Hallmark Channel movie ending in the listen’s country-pop plucked banjo tumbling throughout its chorus. Where as the love tales heard churning out from the big machine are often sanitized in predictable visions created by a white-washed Americana, Shamir taps into something a little more real in his take on a happy ending: faith in spite of the unknown.

Shamir’s “Shamir” will be self-released October 2nd.

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