After making a name for herself as a songwriter, SHY Martin started releasing her own perfect pop songs. The Swede’s debut EP, Overthinking, ranked as one of the best of 2018, and she has been steadily rolling out stripped-back, quietly-devastating gems ever since. The 26-year-old now drops “Nobody Likes Moving On” as the latest single from her second project, Sad Songs (due this summer). And, as with the tracks that came before it, the breakout star’s latest is a knife to the heart.
“We can build a wall downtown, we can build a wall and divide the places we hang out,” Sara Hjellström (her real name) begins over strummed guitar. “And our friends will get caught up in the middle, will they hate us now?” By the time the chorus hits, SHY is already assessing the potential emotional fallout. “And I know I’m gonna feel like shit the minute you go and you’re gonna miss the makeup that I left on your pillow,” she sings. “It’s gonna sting a little ’cause nobody likes moving on.”
We’re excited to premiere “Nobody Likes Moving On” below. Find out more about the singer/songwriter’s experiences in quarantine, future plans and upcoming EP in the Q&A that follows.
How have you been coping with quarantine?
It’s definitely been hard to adjust to. At first, I tried to write a lot from home but felt very uninspired. I’m so used to traveling and meeting new people, which is where I get most of my inspiration and energy from. With that input missing, it’s been really hard expecting the same output as before. Since we don’t have the same restrictions here in Sweden though, the past couple of weeks I’ve been to the studio a few times to write with the same small group of people, which has been way more inspiring than working from home.
What do you miss most about pre-Corona life?
Seeing my family. I miss them a lot!
What inspired “Nobody Likes Moving On”?
“Nobody Likes Moving On” was written the day after we wrote “Keep You Mine” for NOTD. We were talking about break-ups and about moving on. In my past relationships, I’ve moved to another city after they’ve ended and, because of that, I’ve been able to easily have a fresh start, with new relationships and friendships. The conversation led on to our current relationships and I realized how horrible and hard a break-up with my current boyfriend would be as we have so many friends in common and work with the same people in the same industry.
We’re also completely in love with the same small part of Stockholm where we spend most of our time in the same favorite cafés, shops and restaurants. One of the songwriters came up with the starting line “we can build a wall downtown” and we continued the whole song out of that simple idea of dividing up friends and places so as not to run into each other. In the end, breaking up is not easy for anyone who goes through it and this song highlights that.
Your last couple of singles have been really stripped-back. What prompted that change?
I try not to analyze my music too much, I prefer to just write and release music that captures how I’m feeling at that moment. I guess I’ve been more inspired to write stripped-back songs lately.
Is there a central theme running through your new EP?
The EP is called Sad Songs, which kinda says a lot about the theme. Not all the songs are about breaking up though. But almost all of them are about being at a point in a relationship that makes you question a lot of things about yourself and your feelings.
Have you written any songs for other artists lately?
I’ve actually spent a lot of time this year writing for other artists. It’s been really fun and inspiring.
Any features or collaborations on the way?
Nothing I can reveal at the moment!
I’ve released six songs since my last EP, but not all of them will be on the upcoming EP. Most of them will be though.
Is there going to be an album after Sad Songs?
I haven’t decided what my next body of work is gonna look like. I think I’ll figure it out in the process of writing new songs over the next few months.
Who are you listening to in 2020?
I haven’t actually listened to that much new music this year. I do think both Halsey and Jessie Reyez’s albums are great. I’ve gotten more inspired lately by going through songs I’ve listened to over the years like “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon or “Feels” by Kiiara. I’ve been making playlists for every year since 2016, so I’ve been listening to those a lot.