Funny, it was just last week that a bunch of us were sitting around Atomic Liquors wondering when Shamir Bailey was going to release another album. Well, apparently the Las Vegas native heard us, because Shamir just dropped Hope on April 17, a “surprise” release that the multi-talented musician made at home with a four-track—in a weekend. On his Soundcloud page, Bailey says he thought of quitting the music biz—the high-speed rise from Northtown to Times Square billboards and arena stages was apparently a bit overwhelming. Instead, he’s back with this record and the promise of more.
While rough-edged, Hope shows an artist stretching to try new sounds. The opening title track evokes 90s noise-guitar acts like Sebadoh with echoing vocals, tribal drums and distorted guitars, but Shamir’s trademark falsetto adds a new, unique feel. “One More Time Won’t Kill You” is powered by a grimy guitar riff and galloping drums, while “I Fucking Hate You” hides its ego sentiment in a sweet croon and perky beat and the noise-rock/R&B of the closer, “Bleed It Out” leaves you wanting more.
Many of us still fondly remember Shamir’s gig at the 2015 Life Is Beautiful festival, when the Vegas son gave his hometown a killer set followed by hugs for the crowd. Will he be back this year? Let’s Hope so.