Shamir – Homo Anxietatem

Shamir confronts anxieties with tender vulnerability through guitar-laden alt-pop, with folk-tinged lyrical sensibility on his ninth album

Album Review by Anita Bhadani | 14 Aug 2023
  • Shamir – Homo Anxietatem
Album title: Homo Anxietatem
Artist: Shamir
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Release date: 18 Aug

Shamir defies categorisation. Throughout his near-decade-spanning self-proclaimed “anti-career”, his music has forayed from dance-pop to punk rock, 90s house to country. It feels less like reinvention and more that his artistry draws from his eclectic influences, intuitively finding the right genre to convey its subject matter. On his ninth album, Homo Anxietatem, themes of anxiety, survival, and coping through it all find voice through guitar-laden alt-pop, with folk-tinged lyrical sensibility.

Confronting anxieties with tender vulnerability, there remains an understated persistence that reveals itself throughout. Yet as a cohesive whole the album feels somewhat weighted, with the latter half overstaying its welcome. With the exception of riotous track Obsession, where Shamir belts out: 'I'm my own oppression / And I don't know what to do / I am your obsession / But you forget I'm human too' – the lengthy tracks here lose their momentum and oeuvre, dragging wearily toward the end. But when it's good, it’s great – similarly lengthy tracks in the first half, Wandering Through and Our Song feel varied and forceful enough to keep us on our toes. After all, Shamir’s artistry shines brightest when it does just that.

Listen to: Oversized Sweater, Crime, Obsession