Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Shamir - Ratchet

This week marks the drop of Ratchet, the debut record from an unbelievable entity that goes by the name of ShamirRatchet arrives following a swift ascent into the spotlight, thanks to last year's Northtown EP.  Northtown basically sounded like a long lost treasure from a few decades ago, miraculously discovered and placed upon the world.  It had massive vibes of a disco-house album, but the main attraction was his siren-like set of pipes.  Shamir's vocals were somewhat shrill, full of life, and completely unexpected.  His debut album quickly became a top priority on everyone's scale of anticipation.

For those unaware of Shamir's impact, you've probably heard Ratchet's certified jam of a lead single "On The Regular" featured in that recent Android advertisementShamir Bailey is twenty years old and comes from Las Vegas.  After sending a demo to the New York based Godmode label, he was signed by label head Nick Sylvester, who would then go on to produce both Northtown and the full album.  This led to Shamir making a deal with XL, which resulted in waves of "On The Regular" hype, and finally the release of Ratchet.

Ratchet builds upon the sound of Shamir's first release, stretching a bit further from Northtown's dirty club sound.  There's still plenty of slinky grit to go around on tracks like "Hot Mess", featuring shifted vocals and a sinister beat.  Deep altered vocals are scattered throughout Shamir's work and it's the ultimate mirror reflection to his floating range.

Shamir has a knack for covering country songs in his spare time and I feel like that means more than one would initially expect.  Ratchet hides elements of guitar-in-hand songwriting beneath a shell of vogue freakouts.  On "Demon", there's an great sense of stripped back vulnerability.  It's the execution, minimal and poised, that brings another aspect to Shamir's otherwise exuberant confidence.

Ratchet's left of center delivery demands attention.  It's pumped full of true unfiltered personality.  That unobstructed view into Shamir's mind is what makes Ratchet so refreshing.  And everything perfectly leads back to "On The Regular".  It's his statement of intent, his declaration of independence, and maybe even his alibi.

Ratchet is out now, via XL Recordings.  You can head this way to grab the vinyl, CD, or download.  Northtown is available from Godmode, here.