There’s been something of a buzz about Nadine Shah as of late – of which I remain ignorant, as a buzz will usually mean I have no interest in it. One thing I’ve noticed about this English singer is constant comparisons to P.J. Harvey and Nick Cave. To a very minor degree, I can hear it a little bit about P.J. Harvey, with the intensity of her vocals and the throttle of some of the songs- maybe more Siouxsie Sioux? But Nadine Shah’s voice is different; dramatic, theatrical and rich – and on this new album, Fast Food, I think she’s made a fan out of me.
An incredibly hypnotic opening title track kicks this off and certainly has me in its grips; her dusky voice is sexy and enticing; the twangy guitar has me hooked and there’s a tension that you can feel, which runs through this album. “Fool” continues this tension with a single, searing note that tears right though you throughout the song which is terse and powerful, yet no less melodic; “Divided” is more subdued but slightly claustrophobic with just the bass drum, bass guitar and her voice, which envelopes you. “Washed Up” has those kinds of guitar riffs that bring me back to the early ’80’s – slightly dissonant and echo-y; “The Gin One” is another bass/drum driven track with a swirling bass riff, her gorgeous vocals with punched-in harmonies and a very John McGeoch guitar that snakes in and out and “Living” is a warm, big and shimmering track to close this very haunting yet seductive album.
Fast Food isn’t exactly fast or cookie cutter. This album is to be slowly digested and savored like a gourmet meal.
Fast Food will be released April 14th, 2015