Shy Around Strangers is a great band name in its own right, but what makes this three-piece’s namesake even more apropos is their mission to make the music itself the public face and persona of the band. Co-founded in 2010, members Emily Powers, Saric and Michael Dawson shared a disdain for the current superficial trends in the recording industry, and starting recording their first EP as a collaborative protest against the importance placed on physical aesthetics. Intentionally blurring themselves to the public eye focuses the attention where it belongs – on the personality within the songs. Their bodies are mere vessels to project musical imagery, instead of billboards attempting to sell a pre-fabricated image.
The sultry grit in Emily Powers vocal delivery is enough alone to entrance an audience. Her voice breaks with the sincerity of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, luring you in with a sinister wink, and leaving you excitedly ill at ease somewhere between fear and sexual tension as you ponder her clever wordplay. When amplified by the hypnotic grime-laden grooves provided by drummer Mike Dawson and brought to life in cinematic fashion with effected mastery by Saric, the result is a hybrid-genre where the eccentric meets the accessible. The opposite spectrums create a dance of melodic discord with a subtext of complex atmospheric textures underneath the surface of easily digestible song structures. The songs possess both the nostalgic romanticism of early 80s New Wave, Goth and Post-Punk and the explicit exposure of raw emotions of the early 90s.
The band is currently finishing work on their debut EP, due out August 28th, while also preparing for upcoming shows in the NYC area.