The five songs Shy Shy Shy can’t live without

Shy Shy Shy is Astrid Cordes and Simon Kjeldegaard, a duo from Denmark who have subverted our expectations of Scandinavian indie pop with a synth-powered mix of awkwardness and confidence. We’ve been writing about them for the past three years or so, across which we’ve seen them push their boundaries while keeping that sense of fun. This Friday they release their debut full-length, Make Up, and to make the occasion we’ve dusted off this feature and asked them about the five songs they can’t live without. It’s not entirely synth-powered.

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“Yet there’s still this appeal…”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Broken Social Scene | Of course I did not watch The Time Traveller’s Wife a good six years ago, when all the people I chatted to from a lonely row of computers only had this to talk about. (They also talked about Twilight, and I had to watch that. I had a valid excuse. It was work.) So, of course, I missed this Joy Division cover, which makes sense on one level, considering what the film (and book) is all about – but on another level, it feels like a deep rumination on what love really is. Also, I like this cover. Of course. [NB]

“I’m ashamed of the person I am.”

“Isolation” by Joy Division | Another Friday recommendation from Adrian, and one that’s got me thinking: how can a happy-sounding band like New Order come from a gloomy band like Joy Division? Of course, the former is made up of the three remaining members of the latter, after the suicide of vocalist Ian Curtis. 1979’s Unknown Pleasures was a change from the band’s original punk leanings, going dark and depressing, reflecting Ian’s state of mind – not exactly depression, but more of alienation and awkwardness. The follow-up Closer (where this song comes from) saw the sound coalesce, although it was overshadowed (and commercially aided) by Ian’s hanging in 1980. Already in the middle of a bubbling Manchester scene, New Order rose from the ashes; their first single, “Ceremony”, was originally written by Ian – but most of the lyrics went missing, so Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner and Stephen Morris tinkered with it, and so began their trail to even bigger success. I guess Ian going out of the question helped them, but really, his perspective does deserve the accolades – too bad he didn’t live to see that. But what if? [NB] (Have things I should hear? Drop me a line here.)