April 5, 2013

If you’ve come to this page expecting to hear about timid ladies or something similar then you’re in the wrong place (plus you’re a little weird too). This here is all about Portland band Shy Girls and their 80′s-ish inspired R&B sexy music making…


Fronted by producer and vocalist Dan Vidmar, Shy Girls began as Vidmar’s escape from reality, crafting tunes in his loft apartment whilst working in an emergency room based in East Portland. Fast forward a while, and throw in some dedicated muso time, and appears the first Shy Girls EP released on Bandcamp, featuring a fist-full of songs packed with smooth sexy beats, harrowing vocals and lustful electronics. Is this a one man band? No, Shy Girls differ in a genre dominated by laptops. Consisting of seven instrumentalists, his band strives to replicate an electronic sound with all the grit of live performance. The result is a long line of promoters snapping up Shy Girls to play their shows, and an even longer line of fans waiting to swoon away in the crowd.

We shared a few words with Dan to find out what’s cookin’…

UO:Hello Dan . Where are you now?

Dan:At my home studio in Portland, Oregon.

UO:How did you start making music?

Dan:I started playing the guitar around age 13 and things sort of evolved from there. I think my main motivation back then was to become a good enough guitarist to play “Eruption” by Eddie Van Halen. I played in bands in high school and college and was recording a lot of experimental music on the side.

UO:What’s the best thing about making music?

Dan:Having an excuse to sit in my home studio with headphones on for several hours a day. That, and the fact that creating art in any modality is intensely satisfying.

UO:And the worst?

Dan:The frustration of dealing with my super slow computer while recording.


UO:Your music is widely regarded as “sexy”, was this ever the intention? Or did your inner Barry White accidently spill out into your tunes?

Dan:My intention is always to make music that I would want to listen to. I like the romantic and sensual undertones in a lot of jazz, R&B, etc, so it inevitably “spills out” in my music. But if you’re asking whether or not I am trying to make a soundtrack for honeymoons, then no. Although maybe I should…

UO:We’ve noticed a lot of Shy Girl remixes knocking about the net. If you had a choice for anyone in the world to remix your songs, who would it be?

Dan:James Blake.

UO:What’s your most memorable show so far?

Dan:We played a New Year’s Eve show at this small bar down the street. It was super packed and we couldn’t hear anything in our monitors. It was such a mess that we were literally laughing through some songs. But somehow it was one of our best performances and a ton of fun.


UO:Will Shy girls be coming over to Europe anytime soon?

Dan:It’s in the works…hopefully soon.

UO:You can only listen to one song, on repeat, for the rest of your life. What would it be?

Dan:Joni Mitchell – The Last Time I Saw Richard, or Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World.

UO:What inspires you outside of the music world?

Dan:Nature and man’s interaction with nature, interpersonal relationships, space, technological breakthroughs (mostly as they pertain to space).


UO:Where’s the best place to party in Portland?

Dan:My place, then skinny-dipping in the Willamette River, then back to my place. But I gotta give a shout-out to a club down the street called Holocene which has been an integral part of the music scene here in Portland.

UO:Do you have any party tricks?

Dan:I do not.

UO:What would be your wrestler name?

Dan:“The Neanderthal”.



Now listen to some more Shy Girls and feel sexy…

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