Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “Under Attack” By Shy Girls

Shy Girls, a band-like pseudonym for Portland musician Dan Vidmar, is most easily comparable to The Weeknd, if you need a reference point. Both artists are one-man acts “cleverly” disguised as bands giving ’90s quiet storm and classic R&B generous coats of modern electronica. However, both approaches and end results vary quite a bit. The Weeknd is comfortable taking the scenic route, at times making pit stops at different ideas and nuances within the same track. Shy Girls, however, takes the expressway. More or less, his tracks tend to feel like refurbished (or, more realistically “pimped out,”) classics, but that is hardly a negative perspective. It isn’t easy to pull off, and if you listen to his varied 6-track Timeshare EP, you’ll really get a feel for just how successful Vidmar was in reaching his destination. “Under Attack,” easily the highlight of the EP, is a prime example of how skilled a song-craftsman he is. The 6 and a half minute slow jam could never be described as “epic,” even despite its length, simply for its copious restraint. For example, the shimmering guitar line that decorates most of the track feels plucked directly out of “Purple Rain,” but in a stark contrast, “Under Attack” lacks a similar explosive climax. Instead, Shy Girls relies on a comfortable groove, revolving around a reverb-heavy drum loop, and ends up creating an ode to ’90s R&B; it’s truly only his tactful use of synthesizers that makes it feel so incredibly modern. If you really want to get down to it, what sets Shy Girls apart is his perspective. Unlike The Weeknd’s sex heavy cannon, Vidmar’s lyrics feel more influenced by Morrissey, setting him up as a sexually frustrated victim yearning for intimacy; this track is a prime example. To bring it full circle, when you listen to “Under Attack’s” lyrics from that perspective, it’s lack of climax helps paint a perfect picture.




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