Shamir Reckons With Queer Erasure In 'Straight Boy' Shamir's new single sounds raw and intimate — like you're having a one-on-one conversation with him about "whitewashing and queer baiting in media."
YouTube

All Songs TV

Shamir Reckons With Queer Erasure In 'Straight Boy'

"Can someone tell me why / I always seem to let these straight boys ruin my life?" It's the million dollar question that opens "Straight Boy," the latest off Shamir's upcoming record Revelations. The record is a pivot away from his glossy dance-pop days to something more unplugged; rolling guitar riffs that cradle his voice throughout a track that sounds raw and intimate, like a one-on-one conversation.

But don't think for a second "Straight Boy" is a confessional about ignored text messages or ghosting; crack through its surface and you'll find a center that roils with the frustration of someone who's trying to work out why things like "whitewashing and queer baiting in media," as Shamir tells NPR Music, happen.

"It's about how frustrating it was for me to have my whole identity picked apart at a young age, just to see straight white men use it as an aesthetic choice," Shamir says. "The video quite unequivocally depicts the process of whitewashing and the repudiation of the queer and people of color who pioneered."

We literally watch Shamir disappear in the Ryan Carpenter-directed video; he stands, gently strumming his guitar, oscillating in and out of visibility and competing with a white boy counterpart who mimics his movement and visual aesthetic. In the end, it is the white boy who is left on our screens and Shamir has vanished without a trace — except his voice which, now, sweetly pours from the white boy's mouth.

Revelations is out Nov. 3 on Father/Daughter Records. Pre-order it here.

Correction Oct. 11, 2017

This article originally misquoted a lyric in Shamir's song as "Can someone tell me why / I keep letting these straight boys ruin my life?" The correct lyric: "Can someone tell me why / I always seem to let these straight boys ruin my life?"

[+] read more[-] less

More From All Songs TV

A still from Birthing Hips' music video for "Internet." YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Birthing Hips' 'Internet' Is Beautifully Deranged

The Boston band makes brainy, noisy punk that reflects sonic adventure and technical mastery. "Internet," from its album Urge To Merge, shows off the group's flair for the uncanny.

A still from Bad History Month's video for "A Warm Recollection." YouTube hide caption

toggle caption YouTube

Review

All Songs TV

Bad History Month's 'Warm Recollection' Of Love And Death

Songwriter Sean Bean says "A Warm Recollection," from the band's new album Dead And Loving It, is about "the high stakes of living life in the face of certain death."

Back To Top