Shygirl, the multidisciplinary rapper, singer songwriter, director and siren who has captured our gaze with her musical and visual output since 2018’s ‘Cruel Practice’ EP, emerges from the water with her debut album ‘Nypmh’. Simultaneously asserting her power and freedom and yet still longing for love, she delivers us lyrical harmonies and catchy hooks telling stories of relationships, sexual desires and romantic frustrations. Over lush production, Shygirl brings us on the journey of what intimacy is like for a woman who’s seen as ‘too hot to handle’, someone sought after and overlooked at the same time. Shygirl’s melodies intertwine with the sounds of bassline, garage, dancehall and hip hop, all seamlessly flowing together like an artful ribbon dance.
Hailing from the UK, Shygirl is a championed new queen of cool becoming well-known in pop/electronic music for her sultry flows and nonchalant confidence with the club bangers from her Cruel ‘Practice EP’ (2018) and ‘Alias EP’ (2020). With her first full-length project ‘Nymph’, we get a glimpse into Shygirl’s more vulnerable side as she finds freedom in the personal being revealed. Shygirl draws on her love for 90s pop and R&B, taking influence from Madonna’s ‘Ray of Light’ era and artists who portray great emotional qualities in their work like Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Sade, and Bjork. The lead single ‘Firefly’, a classically UK 2-step love song, offers up a glittering melancholy, full of lonely fantasies and lamentations about a one-sided crush. “I guess I need to hear the truth this time / You kept me waiting on a lie… Waiting on a lie” Shygirl sings, floating atop luxurious dancey breaks.
‘Nymph’ arrives during a busy time for popular newcomer Shygirl. The album came together when she took a moment to reflect on this life-changing time. In a house in Brighton on the UK’s coast, Shygirl worked closely and freely with her friends and previous collaborators Karma Kid, Mura Masa, Sega Bodega and Cosha to create the foundation of the album. Trips to LA that followed took the albums direction to it’s final form, with credits from producers such as Noah Goldstein, Danny L Harle, BloodPop, Vegyn and Kingdom.
Shygirl jumps through a vast range of emotions and situations dealing with intimacy as well as self-love, introspection, and prowess making use of countless vocal tones and flows. She moves easily from silky sweet to rich and raspy, from a feathery yearning to a completely over-it brassiness. Many songs are like love letters, a few of which maybe we weren’t meant to find. On others, Shygirl tells us exactly how we should kiss her feet. “Come when you're called / Be easy if I take the lead” she says on the bass-driven Arca production “Come For Me”, reminding us she has the power and the know-how to dominate and direct what’s going down. On ‘Coochie (a bedtime story)’ a playfully fun ode to feminine pleasure, it’s clear that erotic satisfaction is on the agenda, highlighted again on ‘Shlut’ where Shygirl asks “is it so bad to just like to be touched?”. On ‘Nike’, Shygirl gossips to us about a hot time with a dude while on a trip to New York cleverly rapped on a beat with a distinctively Harlem hip-hop sound.“Every piece of work or project is like a sculpture to me, something made of marble that slowly reveals itself as I chip away… Something that was always there to begin with.” - Shygirl