Shygirl chats the evolution of her sound on new album ‘Nymph’

September 30th 2022

  • Shygirl :: Interview with Bri Kennedy

English artist Shygirl has been forging her own path in terms of genre. It’s this individuality and variety that Shygirl says makes it hard to describe the style of her music to people. During their chat on Arvos, Bri Kennedy aptly suggested that rather than trying to name one style, Shygirl should say she “contains multitudes”.

“I feel like I’m a bit of a confusing artist for a random person to consume”

This pattern continues on her debut album Nymph, which dropped today. The album sees Shygirl take a slight detour from her familiar assertive attitude to a sensitive and unguarded style.

“A lot of this album is in a confident space, like I feel really confident about what I have to say and that’s why the music sounds a bit more subtle and melodic than it may have done before”

Shygirl told Bri that it was the more brash and full-on nature of her previous EP that allowed her to switch up her style on Nymph.

“I feel like the last EP did a good job of what it was doing. It did open up a space for me and got people’s attention… and now I have the attention, what do I do with it? I feel like that is where I’m at creatively with this album.”

Having space and a larger platform prompted Shygirl to pivot for this record, taking a more introspective approach and using different methods.

“I feel like I really wanted to feel vulnerable… I’m singing a lot more. That’s a vulnerable space for me, because it’s more technical. You’re either a good singer or you’re not.”
“Rapping and stuff is always a bit more like, you can make up the rules a little bit, I’m being playful with it… and that’s still there. I just wanted to push myself.”

Shygirl made clear that despite the prominence of her new found vulnerability, there are themes and characteristics throughout Nymph that have been a common thread in all of her releases. These familiar elements of Shygirl’s music are playfulness, sensuality and assertiveness. Characteristics that are complimented by her newfound “delicateness.”

“I really hope that the takeaway from ‘Nymph’ is that it’s also powerful to be vulnerable”

Nymph is set to surprise both fans new and old. She emphasised that the album is anything but uniform. Like a patchwork quilt it’s an assemblage of unlikely combinations that somehow form a warm and embracing whole.

“The singles don’t necessarily give you that much of an idea about what the rest of the album is and gives to be honest… hopefully once you have the album you can re-experience the singles again in context”

With the album out in the world, new life will be breathed into singles like ‘Firefly’ and ‘Nike’. It is the assessment or reassessment of singles and album tracks that will ultimately shape Shygirl’s next release. Unlike some artists, Shygirl takes public feedback into account when revisiting the studio.

“That’s kind of the relationship between making things and putting it out… you get an awareness of the perception of your work and what the feedback is, then you go back in the studio with that feedback in mind.”

Nymph shouldn’t be mistaken for a purely serious record. There are lighter moments littered throughout. This is exemplified by the character Shygirl collaborated on with artist Kyla Callista for the song ‘Coochie’.

“In my head when we were making the song I’d always imagined a little character… I personified this objectification of women into a character and that’s how I’m getting away with it.”

Shygirl’s tongue-in-cheek humour is sprinkled throughout Nymph and is a testament to her ability to shape shift when it comes to creating music. In the case of ‘Coochie’ she has utilised it to break down taboos and create a positive space for “the adoration of femininity”.

Shygirl will be making her maiden trip to Australia in the new year. Until then, stay up to date with her shows here, listen to Nymph down below and hear the full chat with Bri on Arvos up top!

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