Shy Layers – Midnight Marker (Beats in Space Records)


Tim Sweeney’s label Beats In Space released Midnight Marker, the second LP coming from the hands of Shy Layers, the name behind the musician and visual artist JD Walsh. And the listening experience is full of joy.

The album is soulful, classy and sophisticated, easy to approach and hard to leave. Some of its songs, like the vintage-fashioned ‘Gateway’ or the jazzy ‘Test Pattern’, could work as a soundtrack from an 80’s TV series, but they also have that NY vibe present throughout the ride. Something that might be very well enjoyed while taking a walk on a sunny day. There are also spontaneous choirs as a cherry on top. But the experience can also be slightly psychedelic, like on the opener ‘Midnight Marker’ or also ’15 and 4′, where guitars emerge, progressive percussions hold hints of light, and it is as if he was seeking to find the best way to tell you how time leaves its mark on everything it touches.

Yes, there are some hints of nostalgia, on evocative and smooth tracks like ‘Tropical Storm’ or ‘Tomorrow’, which tells us that it might be a good idea to perform this album in a live band mode. The fact that JD Walsh moved to Atlanta also seems to be present throughout the record, there is a laid back attitude in tunes like ‘The Keeper’ or one of our chosen ones, ‘Lover’s Code’, which is funky and robotic at the same time, full of catchy melodies and voices with FX. There is a certain pop feel, same as some progressive vibes, throughout the entire album but particularly in ‘No Road’, piece that also plays with the contrast between the human voice singing, and the same element but processed digitally. The ending title ‘Draw The Shades’ confirms the tone represented in the collection of songs, it’s the right amount of time, and it ends on a high note. One might think this is easy listening, or more digestible, I prefer to say it’s deeper listening. Planning on taking a trip somewhere? Or warming up a home party with friends from different places? Here’s your playlist.


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