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Meet Toronto-natives Walter Woodman, Patrick Cederberg, and Matt Hornick—they’re shy kids: not only in the characteristic trait, but also the band, shy kids! Though they confess to being somewhat introverted people, you wouldn’t be able to tell through their music, because once you hear a track there’s an immediate feeling of connection.
It’s never easy or even possible to be 100 percent accurate when categorizing a band in a certain genre. However, when it comes to shy kids, it’s noteworthy to know that their music seems to have created an entirely new category.
Their sound is somehow able to combine a melodic punk rock vibe, with electronic undertones, and beats that can be describes as “indie,” but only in the sense that they’re very unique and independent. If you know your music, you may think this describes post punk, but it’s not quite that—once you hear shy kids, you’ll understand.
“We’re like Arcade Fire, minus everyone switching to a glockenspiel,” Woodman tells BTRtoday.
The live sets of shy kids includes a lot of running around and switching of instruments, which they confess to be one of their favorite things about performing. Though Woodman tends to stick strictly to vocals or sporadically playing the sampler, Cederberg and Hornick are a jack of all trades—you can usually find the two switching around between playing guitar and keys.
Hornick started playing guitar around his freshman year of high school. He bought himself a guitar and started to play. He confesses that he refused to learn through covers or lessons. In fact, to this day, Hornick does not know any covers. “It just had always seemed weird to me to play other people’s songs for some reason,” he explains. “I always thought the point of playing music is to make something, so why would I go out and learn someone else’s songs.” He admits to sounding horrible for a year, before he was able to begin putting melodies together with any degree of allure.
Woodman and Cederberg seem somewhat coyer about their musical backgrounds, even though they’re thoroughly entertaining narratives.
Woodman started off in a band called The Castros—seems like a normal and even humble beginning to a musician’s life. However, Woodman confesses during that time he held in his heart very high hopes for the band, but since recently listening back on their old recordings, he now feels somewhat crushed.
He shines light on a single that he believed was destined to be a “slammer jammer hit,” entitled “Amy.”
“The chorus was, ‘Amy I hope you feel the samey…’” he sings, laughing. “I showed Amy that and she got married to another guy… So, I think that tells you everything you need to know about the quality.”
Cederberg tried to escape the full explanation of his intro into the musical world, but Woodman was not having it. “Uh, uh, uh!! Patrick, I think you’re forgetting about some key in your musical life,” Woodman interrupts Cederberg talking about picking up guitar lessons in high school. “I think you’re forgetting a little video game parody song!”
“Dude! Ugh, yeah, I had a little bit of a YouTube thing in high school… That’s enough, Walter, don’t! Edit this out,” Cederberg blurts out between fits of laughter.
Though the shy kids seem to be shy about their musical backgrounds, they have no real reason to be. The combo of their musical upbringings and the lives they’re able to share now have created music that not only expresses beautiful melodies, but also paints picturesque scenes through their lyrics and has beats that get the blood pumping.
You can hear this on their most recent LP “Lofty!” Woodman confesses that the name was conceived during a time that they were all sharing a one-person loft, however, that they also choice that title because their ambitions were lofty. “We thought it was going to take over the world,” he conveys.
The trio met while studying film at Toronto’s Ryerson University. Cederberg and Woodman met for an acoustic performance of Sir-Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” to play at a talent show, which they won. Hornick lived on Woodman’s floor and was mixing weird tunes together for a school assignment. The gears started turning and Woodman willed the three together to create a band.
“I remember I just got a text over the summer that was like, ‘dude. I want to make a band!’,” Cederberg explains. “I was like, ‘Ok, what do you play?’ And he was like, ‘no, what do YOU play?’”
Soon after they started playing together, they created a short film that won Best Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival, which lead them to a life in Hollywood. “Lofty! was sort of finished once we got fed up doing the Hollywood stuff,” Woodman describes. “We were like, ‘we need to do something that’s fun and that we have complete control over.’”
Lofty! is a ten track LP with songs about the heart, the world, and much more. Tracks like “Terminally in Love With You” and “Junk Mail” take you on an emotional roller coast that makes you want to cry and warms your heart all at once. Then there are tracks like “Rockets” and “Noodie” that induces some serious dancing and hip swinging that can’t help but put a smile on your face.
Currently, shy kids are concentrating on playing live—new songs and old. They enjoy playing the songs from Lofty! and plan on touring very soon. They are also working on a couple new EPs that they seem very excited for and anxious to release, so keep an eye on these guys! Woodman confesses that the upcoming EPs center somewhat on the current situation in the U.S…. you know, the whole maniacal lizard monster and shady lady competing to control it.
So make sure to check out shy kids to stay up-to-date on where they’re headed and what they’re cooking up. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website) Also, if you’re ever in Toronto, make sure to catch a live show by them and say hi—they promised to show you where Drake sits.