Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Shamir’s Heterosexuality Tour

With new, explicitly queer songs to sing, Shamir's wink-wink Heterosexuality Tour will likely be as queer as they come.

Shamir -- Photo: Marcus Maddox
Shamir — Photo: Marcus Maddox

Since dropping his first full-length album Ratchet in 2015, Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter Shamir has averaged a new album every year, none of which have sounded much like his shimmering and glossy electropop debut, save for his unmistakable androgynous countertenor voice.

Instead, Shamir has adhered to a fuzzy, grungy, DIY rawness, even going further into the distorted, post-punk direction with Heterosexuality, released earlier this year.

His eighth studio album is caustic and chaotic, drawing clear inspiration from Nine Inch Nails and other ’90s-minted acts, including those from the riot grrrl scene.

In keeping with his style and persona, Heterosexuality, like any Shamir album, mixes things up stylistically and lyrically enough to defy easy or broad categorization.

He lightens the mood considerably from time to time by tossing off a whimsical musical aside or amusing vocal flourish or indulging his cheeky and subversive sense of humor.

He does that first and foremost this time around with his ironic choice of an album title, particularly in light of the fact that Heterosexuality stands as “the first to confront Shamir’s queerness explicitly,” to quote an official release.

Indeed, the gender-nonconforming and binary artist puts to rest any notion that the title aptly describes him, or is in any way serious, by launching the set with a one-two punch of punky and personal queer-themed songs, delivered with full conviction, “Gay Agenda” and “(I’m Not) Cisgender.”

In concert, Shamir is known for a disarming stage presence and for an easy, unforced sense of rapport with his fans.

With new, explicitly queer songs to sing, and sing-along to, the wink-wink Heterosexuality Tour will likely be as queer and affecting as all get out.

Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m. at the Songbyrd Music House, 540 Penn St. NE.

Tickets are $17 to $20. Call 202-544-5500 or visit

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