Shamir released his eighth album Heterosexuality last month, and it finds him exploring themes ranging from self-identity to capitalism over gritty grungey indie rock tones. After a run of tour dates opening for Courtney Barnett got temporarily sidelined, Shamir announced headlining album release parties March 22nd at MilkBoy and March 25th at The Sultan Room in Brooklyn; the awesome Philly rock band Riverby opens both shows.

In an interview with The Key’s Sean Fennell, Shamir spoke of the album’s themes, and how they’re manifested in the cover art (pictured above): “I relate to the image that Baphomet represents. I feel like it is a very misunderstood creature and symbol that is often demonized because of how grotesque it might look on the outside. I feel like that in a lot of ways, as a visible, queer, and Black person navigating this word. So that was a part of my decision in embracing the Baphomet.”

In related news, Riverby released a new single from their upcoming album Absolution today: “Birth By Sleep,” a roaring anthem that has been a live favorite since the band began playing shows again last summer. Frontperson August Greenberg introduced it on Twitter by saying “have you ever been a manic pixie dream girl? has a person ever made up a version of you that doesn’t exist? you might be entitled to financial compensation.” The song explores the tendency of people to build up imaginary and somewhat obsessive ideas of others they connect with but barely know in reality: “Another person, the best intentions / You fell in love with someone you designed. / I come alive when you fall asleep. / It’s just a distraction, I live in your dreams.”

Also on Twitter, Greenberg acknowedged the strangeness of being a queer artist promoting a new song the week news breaks about anti-LGBT policies attacking trans youth and their families and allies in Florida and Texas. They write: “i guess if i can throw my hat into the ring of any of these problems, i hope to god a kid somewhere who might be closeted or anything can listen to my shit and find joy with another queer person who is rooting for them always.”

Listen to Riverby’s “Birth By Sleep” below, get details on their Philly gig with Shamir at the XPN Concert Calendar.