Shamir (Bailey) is a 19-year-old, wilfully androgynous singer/songwriter/burgeoning dance music producer hailing from North Las Vegas.
Why has the music world not been completely consumed by this guy?
Granted, niche media is perhaps at it’s peak right now, and chances are that whatever weird thing that speaks directly to you will be represented somehow, somewhere (and almost certainly in the form of song). Your options for truly great new music that feels like it was made just for you are truly never ending!
But Shamir, who could almost fall into a niche-y, only for a select few category is also just the kind of good that makes me want to grab strangers on the street, and yell “Listen to this guy!” at them over and over while also vigorously shaking them (you know, just for fun).
The opening song, “If it Wasn’t True” should have been in contention for “Song of the Summer” status with it’s slick steady beat, and it’s break-up narrative that gives you the distinct feeling that everything will turn out alright this guy, and you the listener.
Elsewhere “I Know it’s a Good Thing” gives us the beautiful line, “She wears my favorite color, everyday in her eyes.”
It also has a two-note piano intro that DFA Records co-owner Jonathan Galkin described as having the potential to sound like a bizarro version of the Jaws theme if looped, and also possibly having the potential to conjure a disco shark to your side. Disco shark!
Give yourself a minute with that image, it’s going to make you very happy.
The third track on the EP, “Sometimes a Man”, is exactly the kind of ultra weird post-punk inspired dance music that makes practice that much harder at becoming a better DJ so I can get booked at the sort of clubs where I KNOW that people actually will dance to such things.
Then, “I’ll Never be Able to Love”, slows it way down and gets deeply confessional.
Sample lyric, “Introvert was my name, but for some reason people liked me, and I just can’t handle the attention I gained.” By the time the EP ends with a hauntingly pretty cover of Canadian country artist Lindi Ortega’s “Lived and Died Alone” you’ve had a more fully realized listening experience than any album, let alone 5 song EP has any responsibility to give you.
Shamir’s Northtown EP is out now via Godmode Records, which is absolutely a label you should become obsessed with immediately.
— Marion Hodges