after a high-profile ep and a string of successful singles, twenty year-old singer shamir bailey will release his excellent debut album, ratchet, on tuesday via xl. while bailey cut his teeth on country songs early in his public career, he mostly explores unabashed pop music through the lens of house and disco music on his full-length. the production throughout ratchet is exquisite, though the album’s focal point is rightfully placed on bailey’s powerful and expansive vocal range, which effortlessly rests in contralto territory.
for such a sleekly-produced album, ratchet transfers over surprisingly well to the stage. bailey frequently augments his pre-programmed tracks with varying amounts of live instrumentation, and he eschews automated backing vocals in favor of actual singers. the result is an extremely fluid live show that reflects the buoyant energy bailey so easily conveys on record. as a taste of what shamir bailey has to offer, watch his three-song sxsw showcase performance below.
on the regular
in for the kill
head in the clouds