It’s been a long road, over the last six years, for Shamir to finally make the album that matched his vision. Becoming a globe-trotting touring act behind his 2015 debut, Ratchet, taking a hard left turn stylistically, confronting his mental health issues, and moving from his native Las Vegas to Philadelphia--that’s just the start of this journey.
His seventh full-length, the self-titled Shamir, is his most intimate, his most crafted, and a huge step forward, for an artist who can hardly sit still. “I felt like it didn’t need a name, cuz it’s the record that’s most me,” Shamir says. In the arc of catharsis that has been his half-dozen records of the last several years, Shamir is the light after the storm, a Resolution of his journey to artistic realization. Having adopted the iconography of the butterfly, the chrysalis has fallen away, and Shamir is floating. “I felt like I had to make those records to build to this point.”
Though there are still flashes of synth and punctuated drum beats, ala his early releases, Shamir has taken a turn toward the post-hardcore ‘90s for further inspiration (he sampled a Scratch Acid track on Ratchet). It makes sense his new-found fixation comes from Unwound, the Olympia, Washington cult heroes Unwound. Shamir has forged ahead at his clip (despite getting spots in two Netflix shows) taking inspiration from the more self-aware bands of the Kill Rock Stars orbit, taking everything into his own hands in the DIY tradition.