If you think your favourite artist has been productive over the past few years, then take a moment and think of Shamir. With the release of debut album ‘Ratchet’, he seemed on course to be a creative dance-pop force rewriting the rulebook on another generation of pop artists. Instead, Shamir went to work changing the script. A string of DIY lo-fi punk records followed, released in rapid succession and capturing immediate moments in Shamir’s life - and the result is that ‘Shamir’ now stands as not just his second album this year, but his seventh album in five. If a lot has happened since ‘Ratchet’, ‘Shamir’ feels the most in-tune with that album - an accessible blending of the journey he’s been on ever since, distilled into a spiky and urgent return to the spotlight.
Drenched in that lo-fi edge he’s been dipping across over the past few years, tracks spark to life with a full intent. ‘On My Own’, ‘Running’, ‘Paranoia’ and ‘Pretty When I’m Sad’ spin with garage-pop mentalities, ‘Other Side’ leans on bluegrass and country whilst ‘I Wonder’ transports into glitching electronica and stuttering PC blimps. For any other artist, the idea of all these ideas colliding may seem too much, but Shamir pulls it into a coherent whole with that insatiable knack of melody and songcraft.
Clocking in at under half an hour, it maintains that punk spirit and mentality that Shamir has dived across over the years, but with a much greater level of focus. Sharp, tight and fully confident in exactly what it’s doing - it finds Shamir returning with experiencing under his belt and glorious visions above it. More than anything, it’s the sound of an artist stepping up with individuality at the forefront of everything. If nobody wanted to follow the path ‘Ratchet’ laid out, then Shamir is back to take it himself. Sounds great to us.