Today, Swedish artist and prolific songwriter SHY Martin (real name Sara Hjellström) has released her highly anticipated sophomore EP, Sad Songs. The EP is available for streaming everywhere now here. Listen to new single “Are you happy?” + watch the official video here.
The culmination of a momentous year lined with a string of single releases that have solidified SHY Martin’s place among pop music’s top rising stars, Sad Songs represents a striking evolution in SHY’s artistry and songwriting. As she describes:
- “After releasing my first EP, I felt like I wanted to make a more stripped down and personal collection of songs. I wanted to go back to that same feeling of when I first started writing songs on my guitar. All of these songs were written in different combinations of people I love working with in Sweden. The title of the EP ‘Sad Songs’ actually came from the working title of ‘Lose You Too’ and stuck with me for some reason. At first it was only a joke since I always end up writing sad songs. But after living with it for some time, it felt like the perfect name of this EP since it only has sad songs on it. I was supposed to do a lot of touring this year but had to postpone all of the shows because of COVID-19. It’s sad in a way but I’ve honestly really enjoyed this time being in Sweden. It’s given me the opportunity to spend more time in the studio working on upcoming songs and writing for other artists which has been super fun. I’ve also had more time with my friends here in Stockholm and some time to rest. Until I’m able to travel again I’m gonna spend as much time as I can in the studio writing and recording, which is also where I feel most comfortable.”
Alongside today’s EP release comes new single, “Are you happy?” – a delicately somber track with gorgeous vocal melodies, of which SHY adds:
- “I wrote ‘Are you happy?’ right before the summer together with two other Swedish songwriters – Kristin Carpenter and Rasmus Bundy. The song is about looking back at an old relationship appreciating that it happened even though it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. The ending of one relationship is often the start of a new one. We originally wrote ‘Are you happy?’ as a pitch song for another artist so I didn’t even sing on the demo. But after living with it for a bit I grew to love it and realized how well it would fit with the other songs on my EP. It also felt like the second part of ‘Make us never happen’ which is the first song on the EP, so it felt like the perfect way to end the EP.”
Sad Songs EP
“Nobody Likes Moving On” + Lyric Video
“can I call you back?” + Lyric Video
“Still The Same (ft. Boy In Space)” + Official Video
“Slow” + Lyric Video
“Make Us Never Happen”
Today’s EP release comes on the heels of recent single release, “Nobody likes moving on,” which Idolator called a “knife to the heart” in an exclusive interview feature while Billboard noted the track’s “crystalline vocals over sweet, acousti-lectronic production.” “Nobody” followed deeply personal single “Can I call you back?” which sparked Complex to praise the track’s “dream-like flurry of breathy vocals, soul-touching songwriting and twinkling electronics,” while The Line of Best Fit called it “delicate and emotionally vulnerable in a way that we haven’t seen Hjellström before.” Earlier this spring, SHY released a collaboration with fellow Swedish artist Boy In Space on “Still The Same,” which Ladygunn coined “a lustrous bop. Anthemic and free-spirited.” SHY kicked off 2020 with January’s elegantly emotive “Slow,” which has already seen 14 million+ Spotify streams.
Late 2019 saw SHY release single “Make us never happen,” which debuted with Forbes and saw top placement across many Spotify ‘New Music Friday’ playlists. Summer 2019 single “Same Old” and spring 2019 release “Out of My Hands” were equally well-received with support from the likes of V Magazine, PAPER, and Idolator. SHY Martin also released a collaboration with Swedish duo NOTD on track “Keep You Mine.”
2019 also saw SHY Martin complete her first European headline tour, which traversed 14 cities and stunned audiences with her electrifying live show. SHY also supported Nina Nesbitt last December at her London show.
Since the release of her December 2018 debut EP, Overthinking, which featured standout singles “Forget To Forget,” “Good Together,” and “Just A Little Longer,” SHY Martin has amassed a collective 240 million+ Spotify streams. Her releases have generated widespread critical love, notably with PAPER naming SHY among their ‘100 People Taking over 2019.’
About SHY Martin
SHY Martin first established herself as a songwriter, a path that launched in dynamic fashion via her co-write and featured vocal on Mike Perry’s “The Ocean (ft. SHY Martin).” Recording the vocals in one-take in her home wardrobe (after a tonsil operation!), SHY wrote the track with longtime Swedish songwriting partner, SHY Nodi, and the track went on to win Spotify Sweden’s ‘Most Streamed Song of the Year’ with a groundbreaking 630 million streams.
SHY’s songwriting catalog has gone on to generate 2.5 billion Spotify streams including credits on “First Time” by Kygo ft. Ellie Goulding, “(Not) The One” by Bebe Rexha, “All We Know” by The Chainsmokers, “I Wanna Know” by NOTD (ft. Bea Miller), as well as songs for Jess Glynne, Astrid S, and ALMA, among others.
Raised in the small town of Lerdala, Sweden, SHY Martin first began writing songs and poetry in her youth as a means of self-expression. “I was never good at talking about my feelings so I wrote them down instead,” SHY describes. After winning a music contest at her school at age 17, SHY signed with EMI for a period though ultimately decided to go independent.
In addition to her artistry, SHY is a champion for philanthropic causes, notably joining Spotify CEO/Founder Daniel Ek and songwriter/producer Max Martin‘s coveted ‘Equalizer Project,’ a group aiming to combat gender inequality in the music industry. SHY also participated in Bebe Rexha’s 2018 ‘Women In Harmony’ Dinner in Los Angeles, a gathering to empower female artists in music including Charli XCX, Kim Petras, and Avril Lavigne. She also performed alongside Matoma at the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Concert. View here.