Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Shygirl appears effortless on the long-awaited Nymph


Release date: 30 September 2022
Shygirl - Nymph cover
01 October 2022, 00:00 Written by Caitlin Chatterton

Confidence has never been something Shygirl has wanted for, but it oozes from every pore of her debut full-length

Nymph follows her 2020 EP ALIAS - the pulsing powerhouse that marked her out as a queer club heavyweight. Nymph takes a slightly different tack, combining delicate harmonies with sensual lyrics to befit the title in every sense. Her vocals are breezier, sharpening the edges of the restless drum tracks underneath. The new sound hasn’t compromised on depth, though: from the opening bars of “Woe” it’s clear that her maximalist flame’s still bright, returning to old collaborators including Sega Bodega and Arca for songs you can plant both feet and get lost in.

From the brooding lament of “Woe” (“I can have it all / but I’m never satisfied”), “Come For Me” offers an abrupt, partly dismantled dance track where wheezing harmonies meet Arca’s scattered beats. A similarly chopped-up sound appears in the faltering “Firefly”, the first single to signpost her broadened soundscape. A change of sonic direction isn’t much of a surprise from Shygirl; the orchestral recording of “Cleo” at Abbey Road is hardly the work of an artist ready to stick to one lane. On Nymph, the lighter energy points to the myriad of other influences behind her work, including noughties’ pop, and it’s testament to her reputation that a debut album is already subverting expectations.

As the record moves on, there is seemingly no room for filler tracks or skips. Saccharine and sexy, “Shlut” and “Honey” are upfront treatments of love and desire, while the strutting “Little Bit” and “Nike” stand out for their earworm hooks. “Poison” is just as strong, layering Shygirl’s voice over a backing track that could, in another life, have been reworked into a Europop banger from the 2010s (if it wasn’t already obvious, genres aren’t really her thing). Rounding off with the fitful “Wildfire”, Shygirl closes the curtain on a remarkable musical universe that shows she’s one of dance music’s emerging greats.

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