OUT NOW 'FAST FOOD’:
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Having earned an early reputation for that uniquely rich, soulful voice; Nadine Shah released her debut album Love Your Dum and Mad to critical acclaim in 2013. A stint on the road with Depeche Mode followed whilst opening for Bat for Lashes and playing live at Vivienne Westwood's Red Label London Fashion Week show provided notable highlights on an extensive tour. Created with trusted collaborator and producer Ben Hillier, the excellent follow-up Fast Food is out on 6 April via Apollo / R&S Records.
Born from a fervent two-month writing session, Fast Food exists on a knife-edge – every bit as dramatic as we’ve come to expect from Nadine but with a sharpened eye for all things hook laden; retaining a brooding grandeur in its musical movements. Recorded live at Ben’s studio The Pool in South London, the album features contributions from guitarist Nick Webb and bassist Pete Jobson (of I Am Kloot).
Building on the bruised honesty and charm of its predecessor, Fast Food rings with the confidence of an artist completing their most coherent musical chapter to date. “The last album took so long to make that by the time it came out it didn’t feel like it was a very clear representation of where I was musically, but this time it’s different,” Nadine explains. Fast Food is a more concentrated effort: it is the sound of Nadine Shah as she is now, stepping out from behind the piano and growing with immeasurable confidence.
Nadine admits that Fast Food is a reflection upon short lived, intense, complicated relationships. "I suppose it's a coming of age album of sorts lyrically. Rejecting the romanticised idea of 'perfect' love and maturing in respects to relationships and accepting partners pasts".
With love comes heartbreak: “But it isn’t begging for your sympathy, it doesn’t wallow in self-pity” adds Nadine. “It’s unapologetic and, I hope, empowering.”
Speaking of the scarcity of keys on the new album Nadine says: “I felt quite restricted just sat behind the piano all the time on stage, so touring really catered for the way this record sounds. Everything started on guitar whereas last time Ben re-wrote piano parts for the guitar.” All the more addictive for their rarity, the piano provides light relief to Nadine’s all-important, enigmatic vocals. Yearning and tender yet billowing and aggressive; they weave a tale full of anxiety, vulnerability and nightmares.
Speaking further on her collaboration with Ben, Nadine adds: "This is the second album we've written together and we're much quicker and less precious with ideas. Having worked together so much now, we're more comfortable with each other; it's streamlined the process, made the writing more instinctive."
Setting the pace with this beguiling and exhilarating listen, Fast Food cements Nadine Shah as one of the UK’s most exciting and enthralling talents. Whether it’s the brutal honesty of the love stories, the brooding, crystalline guitars or even the rich, soulful vibrancy of her voice, Fast Food is an immediate, lavish and wholly vital album for 2015.
‘Fool’ is the album at its most bitter, but like everything Nadine touches there is a wry humour and sweetness beneath the poised menace of its guitars and spitting lyrics. “When I mention damn Nick Cave and Kerouac, I’m pointing out someone’s predictable nature, but Kerouac is my favourite author and Nick Cave is my favourite musician” she explains, tongue firmly in cheek.
Nadine Shah’s tracks