Blending a panoply of colorful styles from Balearic pop to African highlife and Krautrock, Brooklyn's Shy Layers garnered critical acclaim upon the release of his eponymous 2016 full-length debut. The project of musician and visual artist JD Walsh, Shy Layers utilizes bright guitar lines, vocoder, live and programmed beats, and a variety of analog synth tones to create layered pop that often recalls the dance-oriented '80s output of Arthur Russell and even vintage Kraftwerk.
Having played in numerous bands and explored an assortment of different musical paths, Walsh launched Shy Layers as solo studio project out of his Brooklyn home in 2015. With creative exploits that range from video editing to sculpture, Walsh's adventurous multi-media savvy informed his music in a playful way — the name itself references a setting in the Adobe After Effects video software — lending a smart, textural sophistication to his laid-back grooves. His first two releases, a pair of 2015 EPs, were self-released and casually promoted via his Bandcamp page. On a whim, Walsh sent his music to eccentric German label Growing Bin, which agreed to compile the two EPs into a self-titled 2016 full-length which spawned a bevy of critical plaudits upon its release. Relocating to Atlanta, Walsh set about recording Shy Layers' follow-up album, Midnight Marker, which arrived in May 2018, this time via New York indie Beats in Space. ~ Timothy Monger