Homo Anxietatem



Kill Rock Stars
Release Date
August 18 2023
Europe with focus on France, BNL and GAS


1. Oversized Sweater
2. Wandering Through
3. Our Song
4. Appetizer Calloused
5. Crime
6. The Beginning
7. Without You
8. Obsession
9. Words
10. The Devil Said the Blues is All I’ll Know




For the 9th Shamir album in eight years, and his debut for the legendary Kill Rock Stars label, the shapeshifting songsmith tries on yet another shade of perfect popcraft. After a run of critically acclaimed heavy rock and industrial-tinged records, Shamir forms his literally unforgettable tunes into alternately subdued and soaring alt-pop. By shifting workflow, gaze, and attitude, he’s created a sincerely familiar yet instantly outstanding album. Meanwhile, never has this stunning music sounded so effortless.

That could owe to the Philadelphia-based artist’s unshakeable work ethic. For a 28 year-old, Shamir’s amassed a huge amount of savvy, as well as a devoted following. Though recording a huge body of work, his live show and recorded output are finally more closely aligned than ever, holding close to guitar-bass-drums combos. These songs are elemental, yet flawless in their own Shamir-ness. And with the studio polish provided by British producer Hoost (Rina Sawayama, VC Pines), the barebones songwriting becomes just lush enough. Every instant is worth engagement.

Of course, the one constant throughout these hundreds of songs is Shamir’s voice. On “Without You,” when Shamir howls, “While the desert’s getting covered in snowfall,” it is one of the most genuinely poetic moments put to song this decade. He’s always had a way of turning the mundane into the magical. On this new album, lines that could feel tossed off in the hands of a more careless songwriter become precious morsels in the hands of Shamir–he never takes himself too seriously. Yet nothing is taken for granted; there are moments of pure joy and plenty of surprises throughout.

However, as always, there’s sadness, darkness, and–in this case–an actual confrontation with the devil. “Not as sweet as I might seem,” Shamir confesses on “Crime.” “No interest in searching for meaning,” Shamir ends the appropriately titled “Calloused.” This is what happens when one of the most prolific songwriters of a generation calms down a bit: the search for meaning becomes meaningless. What happens when someone who lives a chronically unstable life finds solid ground

And that meeting with the devil? Perhaps the biggest surprise is album closer, “The Devil Said the Blues is All I Know.” The title should give an idea of its sound: a single take of slide guitar and voice. As the song fades out, a celebratory hoot can be heard. Maybe it’s a celebration for a great take, or maybe simply that another album finished. Given Shamir’s breakneck working speed, it can be easy to overlook something in his oeuvre. Among a catalog of standouts, this one shines as its own.