"My feeling is that if there is authenticity in the music; the melody, lyrics and delivery - then it's always relatable."

All ye restless of loin and broken of heart fear not! It is this exact raw sentiment that will catapult Shy Girls into 2014 with the right amount of reckless and courageous abandon.

Dan Vidmar and his panoply of seductive and soulful balladry cuts right through other dull and insipid R&B offerings with a precision of slight simplification; "I began cutting back on reverb and over-production and just found that I liked the starkness and intimacy - the 'nudity' of it all, if you will," he says. The production on the EP creates bold movements of weaving into and unraveling out of swooning tender layers and momentary dissonance.

So, as much as Vidmar is a part of this modern R&B restoration, he separates himself from the herd of resurgent artists with an erupting new take on what it is that lures us into human connectivity in the first place. Whilst other musicians grapple with love and the loss that goes with it - he cuts a little deeper to the core.

Rhythm and blues is clearly evolving as a genre, and Vidmar's EP Timeshare is a direct testament to paying homage to the old, by recognising and embracing the new. Our current generation has changed their definition of sex and love and ever more telling is how Vidmar sings about traditional themes, in a non-traditional way. You sense a distractingly earthy, human intrusion in an otherwise immaculate set of disconnected percussions and moody guitars.

His voice is the clincher; it is the heart of it that bursts with spectral soul and a sense of brutal honesty that allows for him to stray away from the R&B lyrical handbook. On the same ground, he successfully marries love's traditionalistic elements, whilst simultaneously divorcing himself from apparent apathy.

He's become a master of getting beneath the surface of real relationships and that is how he's managed to unveil the 'nudity' of his music. For an album that is stripped of clouded smoke, it's blatantly intimate and most importantly, relevant.

As I attempt to push him further, to find out more about his particular attack on a genre well known for tawdry, unrealistic made-for-movie fictional stories - I teeter on the edge of over-prying.


In your mind, what was your EP Timeshare supposed to be?

Timeshare was intended to be a collection of six cohesive songs that mark a particular time in my life. I wanted the EP to be intimate and minimal, with the production leaving a lot of space for the vocals.

So, how did you end up at Hit City U.S.A?

The guys contacted us pretty early on and were more excited about what I was doing than anyone else we were talking to! They "get" the music and it just felt natural working with them.

Quantifying albums or any art for that matter, is seemingly apropos to music critics trying to draw attention to their reviews - what's the strangest review you've read so far?

Well there was one review in particular that was a bit odd. The reviewer spent more time discussing another person's album than mine. But I'm not terribly pissy when it comes to reviews. It's one person's take and that's fair.

The EP's production and songwriting flows from another valve other than R&B - what were you inspired by to create this particularly 'clear' sonic palette?

Somewhere along the lines I began cutting back on reverb and over-production and just found that I liked the starkness and intimacy, the "nudity" of it if you will. I'm also not that interested in making something lo-fi for lo-fi's sake.

You're moving forward at the cusp and evolution of a new sub-genre for Indie Music - 'the modern R&B' and yet your music feels decidedly nostalgic. How have you managed to use past influencers and inject it into your current sound?

I guess I just try to do something interesting and current and inevitably certain "nostalgic" sounds come through. I come from a history of playing older music and soft rock and folk and at the same time listening to a lot of hip hop - all of those things have undoubtedly shaped me.

No one really has the correct road map for getting noticed, how do you humbly self promote an album during a time when people are trying to box you in and comparatively 'place' you?

I just try to make the music I want to make without taking much stock in media and all that. I have a great team of people that are good at helping me get my music out there and honestly, most of the media attention has come to me instead of me seeking it out. So I try to just focus on making music that sounds good. It's really that simple.

During the recording process, did you experience momentary bursts of vulnerability in sharing personal life-themes with an audience you had no idea would/would not relate?

My feeling is that if there in authenticity in the music, melody, lyrics, and delivery, then it's always relatable. It's definitely a bit revealing to have a diary of my thoughts broadcast to the masses but there's also some validation that comes with it.

The song 'Still Not Falling' seems, although on the same level of musicality as most of the album, as more of a 'straight-shooting hard-hitter of the themes you expose. In relationships are you often the one initiating the inevitable 'end'?

Ooo personal! Well I've experienced it both ways but most of my life I've not been the one who initiated the end, which has probably set me up to struggle with allowing myself to fall for people. That's sort of what that song is about.

When was the very first time you snatched a great line/feeling from an R&B or pop song and just started working it into your music?

In college I played folk music at a local bar a lot and I used to throw in a few lines from Seal's 'Crazy' in one of the songs.

I normally stay away from these sorts of questions. BUT if you had to make a mix tape entitled 'Voyeur's Gaze' for your favourite R&B singer (male/female) what song would you start it with?

Kashif - 'Are You the Woman?'


Moreover, 2014 is now so excruciatingly exciting. On a scale of 1-crystal ball, if this isn't a clear glimpse into a promising future of a young artist bravely navigating his way through an ever-evolving genre in order to cultivate his own musical landscape - then you may need to check what makes your heart beat in the first place.

Shy Girls Timeshare EP is available here.