Shy Girls, the fast-rising Portland act led by Dan Vidmar, joins us to play a set that includes songs from last year’s Sex in the City EP, as well as some new jams that have grown out of their more full band composition as of late.
It’s not often a band from the local scene can claim un-ironic influence from names like Bell Biv DeVoe, GUY and the Backstreet Boys — even less often still that they execute those cues well. But Sex in the City, the 4-song, bedroom-recorded debut from Shy Girls that appeared late last year, sounds transported from two decades back while still maintaining a freshness that rises well above novelty. It’s a sexy, slinky set that recalibrates the notion of “neo-R&B” (it doesn’t necessarily come from 1972 anymore).
The septet made up of vocalists Vidmar, Matthew Flowers and Jeni Wren, keyboardists Akila Fields and Ingmar Carlson, drummer Dan Sutherland and sax player Noah Bernstein play a pair from their debut EP, introduce a couple of new songs and talk about the expansion from their roots as a one-man recording act to the dynamic band that was recently called one of the best live acts in town.