Exclaim!'s Top 27 Albums of 2015 So Far

21. Shamir

In many ways, releasing Ratchet as a debut album was a serious gamble. After serving up serious vocals on his well-received Northtown EP, Shamir wisely cribbed from its bouncier cuts to lay down the framework of his first full-length. Then, instead of delivering a homogenous package of electro-disco bangers, he doubled down on the softer cuts as well, making for an eclectic and alluring package.

Combined with his arresting countertenor voice, Ratchet presented Shamir as one of the most unique presences in pop music, one we didn't realize we needed until he showed up fully realized. And as mature as Shamir is for his age, Ratchet shows us a glimpse into the inner workings of today's youth, a combination of disaffected suburban ennui with an infectiously candid spirit.
Scott Simpson