Indie rock figurehead Shamir shared a new video for bold single “Diet” off his self-titled album Shamir. Shamir explains: “‘Diet’ is a song I never thought I’d make a video for – it wasn’t a single, nor was it planned to be one, but it’s a song that instantly resonated with everyone when the album came out. The origin of the song is pretty dark, taking inspiration from the film ‘My Friend Dahmer,’ but the deeper meaning of the song is less about the gore or even Jeffrey Dahmer and more about the battle we all have with our darker urges and/or neurosis that tend to appear during our adolescence/pubescent years and how that plays a part in developing our moral compass. The video was filmed in different locations around Lake Tahoe in my home state of Nevada.”
Shamir will also perform for Die Jim Crow Records’ livestream event on January 17 raising funds for previously incarcerated artist SIMPLY, NAOMI. Shamir’s new album reimagines 90’s Pop & Rock for the modern world, in what he calls his most accessible album since 2015’s debut Ratchet. “I felt like it didn’t need a name, cuz it’s the record that’s most me,” Shamir says. It’s been a long road, over the last six years, to finally make the album that matched his vision – from becoming a globe-trotting touring act, taking a hard left turn stylistically, confronting his mental health issues and moving from his native Las Vegas to Philadelphia.
Coming together when Shamir met up with a songwriting hero, Lindi Ortega, this full-length (with some tracks produced by Kyle Pulley – Hop Along, Diet Cig, Adult Mom, Kississippi) is his most intimate, most crafted and a huge step forward in a transfiguration for the artist. Having adopted the iconography of the butterfly, the chrysalis has fallen away, and Shamir is floating. And he’s barely 26 years old.
Even though Shamir launched a label in 2019, Accidental Popstar Records, the LP was released on no label at all. For becoming widely known for R&B dance pop, the one constant through his move back toward guitar-driven indie pop — through the critically acclaimed and ever-relevant Resolution, Revelations, Be the Yee, Here Comes the Haw and all the way to 2020’s surprise release Cataclysm — has been his unmistakable voice, a countertenor piercing straight to the heart.
Though there are still flashes of synth and punctuated drum beats, ala his early releases, Shamir has taken a turn toward the post-hardcore ‘90s for further inspiration – from Olympia, Washington cult heroes Unwound to bands of the Kill Rock Stars orbit, taking everything into his own hands in the DIY tradition. Having delved into outsider music, country and punk, Shamir continues to create raw and vulnerable tunes, stripped down to their emotional core.
Shamir has also appeared in the Netflix documentary I’m With The Band: Nasty Cherry and toured with indie giants like Stars and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. A multi-talented artist, he acted as the voice of Draca on the Tiffany Haddish Netflix show Tuca & Bertie, appeared in a group cover of Document Journal shot by Ryan McGinley for Dior Homme, runs a TV column for Talkhouse – and is already working on a new album.