Shy Girls: Portland Scene Report

Music February 23, 2017

Originally published and still available on Born Music 2/12/16

“I record all the vocals in my closet and I don’t have an engineer so I literally run in and out from the closet to the computer in between takes” says, Dan Vidmar, better known by his solo moniker SHY GIRLS. “On this album, I enlisted a co-producer for a few tracks, but for the most part I do everything all alone in my home studio.”

The album in question is Salt, his debut as Shy Girls, and it has been a long time coming with Vidmar releasing his first single – ‘Under Attack’ – in 2013. Since then he’s been busy, having already released a buzzed-about Shy Girls EP – Timeshare – and the subsequent 4WZ mixtape along with collaborating with other artists. It’s all quite impressive for a man who likes to do everything himself.

“I think that [due to working alone] the album sounds like me through and through,” says Vidmar, who is creatively responsible for literally every aspect of the writing and recording process. “There are a lot of great albums out there that feel like a collection of a tonne of different people’s best ideas – and that’s cool; those albums tend to be more commercially successful, obviously. I think my album is much less polished than those but has a singular voice -from the drum production to the way I play the guitar solos, the lyrics, the arrangement, the track order – and that is something that is important to me.”
It’s not all plain sailing when working alone, however. “It’s hard because there is no one telling you when an idea is good or terrible. There is a lot of self-doubt.”

It is a small price to pay for not having to compromise on his vision in any way, and his personality permeates every note of his recent single ‘Trivial Motion’. A sultry slow jam, its smooth grooves are anchored in sensual synths and understated beats, though elsewhere Shy Girls detours into darker territory with ‘I Am Only A Man’. “I’ve always loved re-contextualizing the clean hi-fi feel of 80s soft rock into something more dark and lonely sounding,” says Vidmar. “There’s something eerie but comforting about it to me.”\

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