Shy Layers

Shy Layers (Growing Bin)

Contact Jessica Linker about Shy Layers

Shy Layers is the musical incarnation of Brooklyn and Atlanta based artist JD Walsh. Working in sound, video, sculpture, and painting, Walsh has exhibited his work at art galleries internationally and has been written about in publications such as Artforum, Flash Art, and Sculpture Magazine, among others.


Shy Layers began in 2015 in a dusty corner of Walsh’s Brooklyn studio, where meticulously crafted songs would be constructed, texture by texture, until eventually the entire studio would be consumed in a jungle of analog synths, drums, bells, triangles, guitars, and all manner of recording equipment. The result was the six-track Shy Layers EP, fusing elements of Krautrock, 80’s R&B, Dub, African Highlife, and Rock & Roll. This EP was followed by another, 2016’s “2”, which further pushed the envelope into Balearic pop, Caribbean percussion, and free-form modular-synth jams. As eclectic as these elements can be, the songs always retain a pop sensibility, and remain accessible, compact, and catchy.


August 2016 brings us Shy Layers’ debut LP by way of Hamburg’s Growing Bin Records, a vinyl imprint born out of a blog specializing in everything from new age to ambient jazz and beyond. Consisting of tracks curated from the EPs, as well as the exclusive track “SEG”, the album is carefully sequenced to take the listener on a journey, from the down-tempo “Thriller” era R&B of “Black and White” to the closing notes of the melancholy keys of “1977”. The first single from the LP, “Too Far Out”, might be described as polyrhythmic fuzzy post-Graceland pop.


Walsh, a lifelong musician, plays every instrument and sings, the vocals often transformed by a softly buzzing, melodic vocoder, floating over a bed of overlapping rhythms. The boundary between real and synthesized voices and instruments can often be blurred, leaving the listener to navigate a uniquely constructed space, where reality is augmented by pastel hues and impossible shapes.