Review | Shygirl heats up a sold-out 9:30 Club show


The world has a long musical history of imagining, alluding to or outright detailing physical intimacy. But that doesn’t stop interviewers from peppering London-born singer, rapper and DJ Shygirl with questions about her bold, sexual lyrics.

She answers them with candor and ease because she’s fascinated by all the connections people make with each other, whether they are behind closed door or on dance floors.

“I’m obsessed with this idea that you can connect purely through chemistry with people,” she said in a ColorsxStudios interview. “I think it’s just a study of humanity.”

That sense of wonder came through as she performed the effervescent “Coochie (A Bedtime Story)” on Wednesday night at 9:30 Club. The track’s electric pops and the enthusiastic audience — which sang along to her whimsical ode to that “sticky and sweet” body part — had the sold-out venue fizzing with bright energy.

Shygirl, known as Blane Muise to family and friends, came to music later than some of her peers in the experimental scene, such as the late producer and hyperpop fixture Sophie, and avant-garde electro-genre-blending artist Arca. When Shygirl moved back to London in her early 20s after leaving to study photography in college, she befriended similarly creative people, including electronic music producer Sega Bodega. Their first collaboration, 2016’s “Want More,” laid the foundation for Shygirl’s captivating club sounds.

Amid the covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Shygirl dropped the “Alias” EP, a sweat-slicked, bass-bouncing paean to locking bodies together. Her new album, “Nymph” is not confined to the physical; it approaches intimacy with more emotional breadth while still offering cathartic release through dance.

Despite her visual arts background, her stage setup lacked interest. There were a handful of plain, circular mirrors reflecting the colored strobe lights, but nothing that pointed to the rich artistry she shows off in her music videos.

But her stage presence made up for the curiously minimal setting, and she managed to maintain the sense of a multifaceted party experience during her live performance. She was charming and sincere, smoothly transitioning from a vulnerable section that opened with the moody “Woe” to her lustful, sensual side with the slinky “Shlut” and the pounding “Freak.”

As the swell of dancing bodies surged throughout the night, all the disparate, seemingly unrelated components — one attendee in an animal-costume head, a duo in light-up goggles and a smattering of Y2K fashion aficionados — seemed to merge into one rhythm.

“I know there are a lot of main characters in the room tonight,” Shygirl told the crowd. “But this is my main character moment. I have to say thank you for giving me the stage.”


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