Shamir is Shamir and remains Shamir through and through, no matter what the universe puts him through. You may know the singularly named artist (like Madonna or Cher) from his 2015 debut hit record Ratchet, beloved by NPR listeners and club kids alike. After quickly rising to underground fame with his Northtown EP in 2014, the DIY popstar made a sonic splash with Ratchet’s lead single “On The Regular,” a poppy banger and commercial success. But how to follow all that up? Shamir, who came from the dusty dunes of Las Vegas, to Brooklyn’s Silent Barn, to the Philly indie scene (and all over the world in between), wanted to go back to what had inspired him from the beginning. Outsider music, country & punk. Raw & vulnerable tunes, stripped down to their emotional core. And what do you do if XL drops you? If you’re Shamir, you put out an album you recorded yourself all in one weekend, whilst questioning the decision to quit music. The record was called Hope and Shamir self-released it via SoundCloud during the spring of 2017, with no promotion or label support. Regardless & naturally, it was a critical hit.