Dan Weiss, writing for Stereogum:
Shamir Bailey, the 22-year-old Philly-via-Vegas polymath who goes only by his first name, made one of 2015’s best and brightest albums — and possibly its best debut — with the electro-disco revelation Ratchet. It was released via XL, home to Adele and Radiohead among others, and from his country covers and hip-house rapping, we always knew that the album was merely the tip of the iceberg for Shamir’s considerable talent and wide-ranging taste. That prophecy came true this morning as Shamir self-released a surprise follow-up, Hope, all on his own via SoundCloud.
STEREOGUM: So are you a huge Blake Babies fan, or was the cover [“Rain”] something you were planning to do for a while?
SHAMIR: No, I actually discovered them this weekend. I’ve been listening to a lot of ’90s [music] all weekend, trying to find related artists to Velocity Girl. The [Blake Babies] singer, I think her name’s Julie…Juliana… [Hatfield], I think we kind of sound the same! Which is kind of crazy to me, I heard so much of myself in her. This is my first, full, fleshed-out cover I think! Because even my Lindi Ortega cover [“Lived And Died Alone” from my first EP [2014’s Northtown] was just stripped down and kind of a look into my soul coming out.
STEREOGUM: I know you’re getting blown up all day but has any particular reaction to Hope stuck out to you today so far?
SHAMIR: Just the fact that the guitarist and songwriter of “Rain,” from Blake Babies [John Strohm] tweeted at me today and I got to thank him, and he was so sweet. It’s only been a few hours! And he heard it already somehow! The internet is crazy!
Rain is at 27:38 on the SoundCloud embed above.
You can download the album at https://www.mediafire.com/folder/u0wwrkud56vad/HOPE+MP3S