FIB Album of the Week: Hope by Shamir

Shamir Bailey, known simply as Shamir to fans, has released his new album Hope on Soundcloud, the entirety of which he created in his bedroom over the weekend.

Photo Credit: Cold Front Mag

The album release was accompanied by this message:

‘I was gonna quit music this weekend. From day 1 it was clear i was an accidental pop star. I loved the idea of it, i mean who doesn’t? Still the wear of staying polished with how im presented and how my music was presented took a huge toll on me mentally. I started to hate music, the thing i loved the most! When i would listen to immaculate recordings with my friends their praise over the quality of the art as opposed to the art itself made me feel really sad for music as a medium in general. My music only feels exciting for me if its in the moment, and thats what this album is. I made this album this past weekend stuck in my room with just a 4 track feeling hopeless about my love for music. Im not gonna lie, this album is hard to listen to, but it was even harder for me to share.’

Then came Hope. The album embodies a contemplation of titles message as it develops through the tantalisingly fun highs and the harrowing lows of his own mind. Shamir’s countertenor vocals are infused with an emotional quality that is comparable to the grasping crooning of James Blake.

The album has a distinctly different and even oppositional sound to what was previously offered by Shamir, representing an impressive growth of his artistry. The unique sound that Shamir has created takes inspiration from a range of music, combining light hip hop beats with synth pianos as well as throbbing guitars. The ability to seamlessly incorporate sounds from across genres affords Shamir a unique space in the modern music industry, demonstrating his range as a powerfully enigmatic songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

Image Credit: Pitchfork

Shamir is well loved by his fans for an outward confidence that translates into his vocality, musical style and eclectic fashion sense. He is also considered influential due to his open expression of his genderqueerness, explaining “I don’t identify as gay because I don’t identify as male or female.”

The Las Vegas-born 22 year old released his debut E.P. Northtown in 2014, followed by the album Ratchet in 2015. Shamir’s music and his arresting stage presence are building him a dedicated and growing fan base which has brought him on tours across the world.

Hopefully, the young talent stays in music for a long time to come. You can listen to Shamir’s emotive new album below: