After touring the US with HAIM, Maxwell, and Little Dragon, Portland-based R&B act, Shy Girls, has finally unveiled his debut full length as a 13-track mixtape entitled 4WZ. It’s available as a free download over at his website and I highly recommend you snag it while you can. It’s lush and expansive, with features from Antwon, Junglepussy, and Rome Fortune.
You’ve got to listen to it straight through to appreciate the way it weaves canonical R&B elements like clipped snare combinations and punctuated rimshots with experimental interludes to create a dreamscape that calls to mind How To Dress Well and The Weeknd. The final product is so viscous and rich that it’s hard to pick standouts, but I gave it a shot anyway.
The Junglepussy-assisted ‘Always the Same’ is a thumper that falls on the more retro side of the record. Junglepussy’s feature catches you by surprise, if only because of her slowed-down flow as she raps about sitting home alone in her finest lingerie and reminiscing on the good love her man brings home.
‘Arrest Me’ featuring Brooklyn merbabe, Tei Shi, is a far cry away in terms of complexity and (ahem) subject matter. The track sounds way more romantic at first but as it plays on, you realize that Tei Shi has taken on an extremely dominant persona, inviting the listener to her office so she can “put you in your place”. It’s the kind of darkly-sensual music that’s been the hallmark of alternative R&B for the past year, but Shy Girls manages to make it all sound new again on 4WZ. Check out ‘Always the Same’ and ‘Arrest Me’ below alongside the entire 4WZ mixtape, and don’t forget to pick up a free download! Enjoy The Eargazm!