Hailing from the northern suburbs of Vegas comes a paradigm of genre-bending disco-pop music, Shamir Bailey. With a voice like the lovechild of a young Prince and Crystal Waters, flawless musical intellect and an aura of powerful, canny teenage naivety, he brings us a musically and thematically phenomenal aesthetic, his debut album, Ratchet.
Shamir takes on expert-level musical ingenuity at the ripe age of 20; and though Ratchet encompasses the genres of synth and dance-pop, there’s something about this album that deviates from the exhausted, basic and repetitive mass-produced bangers.
On The Regular, Hot Mess, Make A Scene and Call It Off surrender to the squelching, synthesised basslines of the youth manifestation that is ‘80s-house-music-gone-Minneapolis-Michael-Jackson.
Then there’s Darker and KC, where Bailey bends every boundary of synth-pop and brings us into a musing, musically beautiful, meditative realm of sound that still manages to embody anguish and austerity.
Everything is melodically sound, everything is expressive and spectacular and whole. We’d like to say songs on this album are prospective top 40 sell-outs, but somewhere between Shamir’s fabled, androgynous, countertenor vocal, the acid-house basslines and the Prince-like clean R&B, funk rhythm, we realised Shamir is far beyond that.