Shy Girls - Salt
Most of what I have known about Shy Girls in the past has come from His singing over other pop's tracks; most notably providing the vocals for Odesza's "All We Need". There has thusly been a buzz about what Shy Girls, Portland's Dan Vidmar, was going to do with His debut record and we finally have the answer in Salt. The record is filled with trippy downtempo electronic that oozes it's way into your ears. The first full track "You Like the Pain Too" is heavy with emoting and substance showing that Vidmar is more than just a vocal behind an EDM track. "Trivial Motion" is such a great blend of R&B and Electronic music that you cannot help but find yourself bopping along as the song slowly unfolds in front of you. For a debut Vidmar seems to be in no rush to get this music out letting it spill like water (he actually uses an effect of pouring water on "Why I Love"). The result is fantastic when you want a song to just extend and extend, however when you are already bored the extra time just adds to that. He rarely changes the pace which is another disappointment because all 10 songs end up sounding similar even though they are completely different. The moody vibe is also a bit much because it really has no context. We love the Weeknd because of how dirty yet smooth He is, but Shy Girls shies away from that massive confidence and seems to kind of fade in to the background of His own music.
The production on Salt however may be some of the best you have heard in awhile. Shy Girls is able to attain this very specific sound and hold on to it, never faltering. The music also surrounds you, always moving but never getting to big or to bold save for a few moments. He never even really builds to any kind of crescendo instead He just allows the music to sort of settle into place rather than banging it in there. This approach however doesn't always work for him and some of the songs just seem to hang around rather than making a clear point or moving the album in a particular direction. Vidmar also rarely uses his falsetto which He has more or less become known for over the years. You really find yourself wishing for some lightness in the later tracks, just something to break up all the emotional muck we have been wadding through on this album, but it never comes. The lasting impression however is that this really is a pretty good album and with just a few tweeks Shy Girls could really have something special. Worth a listen, but you likely won't be wearing this record out anytime soon.
6.7 out of 10