ALBUM REVIEW: “Shy Around Strangers” by Shy Around Strangers
Emily Powers, Saric, and Michael Dawson are the trio behind New York’s beloved Shy Around Strangers. They formed the band in 2011 in a response to the airbrushed, superficial trends in the recording industry. Deliberately focusing our ears completely on the music, which means you will not see their likeness pop up in a Google image search anytime soon, and that is the goal here — pop success without any pop marketing.
However, you will read about Emily’s voice everywhere, because it is just that good. With attitude reminiscent of Chrissie Hynde, Deborah Harry, or Shirley Manson she belts out ’80s glam rock (“Never Look Down”) with the same aplomb she softly croons introspective gloom (“Victorian Ghosts”) — a helluva feat, to be sure. In “Plastic Store” the band channels The Sounds with the staccato lyric delivery and the killer beat we dance to every time. The EP is only 5 tracks, which is such a tease — we like it, get into it, and then boom, wait, what? That’s it? Each track is different enough from its EP siblings to be interesting, but similar enough that you know you’re listening to the same band. Bottom line: we love to play this EP and are so ready for the full album to see if we can continue to keep the groove on.