Shy Girls @ Boot & Saddle (2/9)

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On Thursday I went back to the Boot & Saddle (which, by the way, has done a fantastic job with its spring lineup) to see Shy Girls. The moniker belongs to Dan Vidmar, a PBR&B singer-songwriter from Portland.

He maintains a relatively low profile, and surprisingly so – he’s been releasing fantastic music for a number of years, and has done collaborations with Rome Fortune, Tei Shi, and Antwon. His discography traces an arc from laidback indie tracks to quasi-lullabies and finally, songs that just can’t be pinned down, which contain within the same four minutes both lyrics that paint a condemnation of love and a rousing saxophone interlude.

As such I doubt this low profile will remain for much longer: Salt, the newest LP, is bound to get attention, with standout tracks such as “Trivial Motion,” “Why I Love,” and “I Am Only a Man.”

The music runs along these lines: imagine Vancouver Sleep Clinic and Majid Jordan smashed into a song, or SOHN and Vallis Alps, but with the passion of JMSN. You’ll have to listen to catch on, but it’s worth it.

I will also say that appreciation for an artist either decreases or increases exponentially based on the crowd that arrives for their show. This group was small, but everyone knew the words; dancing along, mouthing the chorus expectantly, trading excited looks when they recognized the first chords of a familiar track, and occasionally recording their favorite moments to watch and relive later. It’s been one of my favorite groups so far. Good people in a small room listening to music they love.

Additionally, this was Vidmar’s second to last show on tour, and he offered a bit of history before performing Under Attack, one of his most well-known songs. He recounted how it was the first song he wrote as Shy Girls; after performing it for friends, they suggested he do something with it, and he sent it out to a few blogs.

“I got news that a blog was going to premiere it when I was in Philly, crashing on a friend’s couch, not far from here,” he said, as the instrumentals kicked in.

When Vidmar goes back on tour, I recommend buying a ticket, as the songs were better live than recorded, and it’s a show you’re not going to want to miss.

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