Loneliness never sounded so sweet as on Shy Girl's new single "Lay and be Lonely," the lead single off of their upcoming album, Bird on the Wing.

There is a certain peace that comes with acceptance. It brings to mind that old worn cliche "Wherever you go, there you are." Or another old chestnut, seen on cross-stitch samplers the world over, "bloom where you're planted."

Longing, desperation, a sense of deficiency … these are the kiss of death to a satisfying life. People can sense the neediness in their bones, unconsciously recoiling, even if they don't mean to. In a world so rife with inequality, it seems there's always somebody that needs something. On the flipside, there's a certain contentment that comes with acceptance. They seem to radiate a beneficent beatitude like they're somehow insulated from the world. Like nothing could bother them or ruffle their feathers.

Speaking of feathers, "Lay and be Lonely" is the lead single from Shy Girls' long-anticipated follow-up to their debut LP Salt. It's got the same thick, syrupy sub-bass hypnotic late-night beat, and post-Michael Jackson vocals. Sonically, it brings to mind The Weeknd with a pinch of chillwave Yacht Rock, like Abel Tesfaye fronting Toro Y Moi. "Lay and be Lonely"sounds less despondent and drug-addled than The Weeknd, but less fizzy and bubbly than Toro Y Moi, however. It's the sound of finding the perfect equilibrium, levitating between the heavens yet remaining rooted to Earth. It's the sound of peace. It's the sound of acceptance.



Shy Girls have been on a trajectory towards the stars for some time. They've collaborated with some of the biggest names in the post-r&b underground, from Young Thug to Junglepussy. Dan Vidmar, the mastermind behind Shy Girls, harkens back to the roots of today's arthouse electronica when Michael Jackson was still alive and dominating the charts, when synthpop was everything before it succumbed to the formulaic that every genre seems to succumb to. You can hear echoes of "Lay and be Lonely" in Shy Girls' cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," drawing out the inherent dreaminess and romanticism, while still somehow pirouetting around nostalgia. This is no throwback, no worshipping the past. "Lay and be Lonely" accepts the time it's rooted in just as much as any emotional state Vidmar may be experiencing.

If "Lay and be Lonely" is any indication of what's in store when Birds of a Feather drops from RCA on March 1, we're all in for a treat. We Are: The Guard have been eagerly anticipating music from Portland's Shy Girls for the last two years. Now we're even more excited! You're going to have to tether us to the ground, lest we float away.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.