You might know Hayden Dunham as the face of fictitious pop singer and energy drink peddler QT. Created in 2015 by Dunham, PC Music founder A.G. Cook, and SOPHIE, QT was portrayed onstage by Dunham and voiced by British singer Harriet Pittard.

After teasing a new project under the name Hyd at live shows and featuring on A. G. Cook’s 2020 album 7G, the interdisciplinary artist is gearing up to make her solo debut with a new self-titled EP. Production on the project is handled by Cook, Caroline Polachek, and umru. 

So far, Hyd has released two singles from the EP, “No Shadow” and “Skin 2 Skin.” The former is a slow-burning ballad written in the wake of Hyd’s temporary loss of sight. On “No Shadow,” deep, rumbling synths and a repeated bell riff give way to a warped guitar solo bridge. She said in a statement, “When I lost my vision in 2017, I started being able to see differently. In total darkness you realize you are beyond your body.” 

“Skin 2 Skin” sees Hyd’s voice flirt with different timbres, starting as an emphatic, hair-raising whisper, and later ascending to a buoyant falsetto in the chorus. She croons, “If you wanna ride on the slip and slide / Feeling kinda (Ah!), on the inside.” Here, Caroline Polachek’s production is structured around Hyd’s percussive breath. Says Hyd, “It’s a visceral, saddle-up, switch anthem. This song is for the ponies of the world, you know who you are. It asserts that you get to be in your body on your own terms. ‘Skin 2 Skin’ is about my terms.”

Hyd’s forthcoming EP is out November 5 via PC Music.—Madeline Quach

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