shy boys, video age
At Cactus Club (Milwaukee, WI)
Video Age’s third album, due on August 7, 2020, from Winspear, pairs neon-bright 80s pop melodies with a vast range of influences (including Janet Jackson, David Bowie, and Paul McCartney) to create an optimistic sound all their own. The influences vary song to song, but they’re all tinted with the same rosy hue. Farbe says, “I’m often trying to create a more idealized version of the world I’m in.”
But these aren’t expressions of one-dimensional puppy love—this is euphoria with depth, ecstasy with complications. In the twinkling “Comic Relief,” Ray Micarelli sings, “I know the world is killing me / I love you baby, can’t you see / Ain’t nothing but a comedy.” And in the funk-inspired “Shadow on the Wall,” Farbe sings, “I got the gloom, baby, covering me / Cuz you’re a cruel silhouette as could be.” Darkness is always lurking somewhere beneath happiness, but in the Video Age, even melancholy sounds like something you can dance to.
Do you think you know what Shy Boys sound like?
Each album feels different, and the audience gets the pleasure of listening in while Shy Boys experiment with and master new sounds. On their new album, Talk Loud, our Shy Boys are clearly so in sync with each other that they are able to explore getting out of sync in a way that feels right. The album is fun and scary at the same time. Right when you start to feel comfortable you turn a corner into a different dimension. They pan vocals, take audible breaths. The backing vocals are pure feeling. There’s a comfort to feeling surrounded by the five distinct voices that make up Shy Boys, but once in a while it starts to feel foreboding, too.
This show is at Cactus Club, located at 2496 S Wentworth Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207.